Reflection 5th May 2013

On the Third Day

The Scripture is quite clear: It was “on the third day” that the Resurrection happened. To the Jewish mind it was, in other words, a time of cataclysmic evolution. Scripture, in fact, identifies thirty defining moments—occurrences the result of which the Jewish community, Jewish history, or Jewish understanding of the ways of God on earth were never the same again—as having occurred on “the third day.”

On “the third day,” for instance, God seals the covenant with Moses. On “the third day” Esther goes to the King to beg for the safety of the Jews. On “the third day” Abraham prepares to sacrifice Isaac.

To speak of something as having happened on “the third day,” then, signals a crossover moment in time, a point at which everything before and everything after is seen in new light. The Resurrection happens, Scripture says, “on the third day.” The message is clear: No one and nothing is the same after the Resurrection happens. Jesus may have changed after the crucifixion, but the Resurrection changed the rest of the Christian community, as well. Transformation is like that. When one person changes so must everyone else around them. Resurrection changes us as much as it changes Jesus.

Joan Chittister

(Reflections are provided each week by a member of the congregation.)

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