Summary: The hope of the world is in the power of the risen Christ.
From the Desk of Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
The Hope of the Third Day
Intro: The Apostle Peter is called by Cornelius to preach for them. Cornelius was a gentile, and he had a vision from God revealing to him the need for Peter’s preaching and the place to find Peter. Peter comes to these Gentiles and preaches to them the Gospel. These gentile people had long been excluded from many religious activities because of their heritage. The Jews would not allow them a place amongst the people of God. Furthermore, they had no right amongst the people of God. There was no real hope that they would ever have an opportunity to participate fully in the religion of the Jews, but Peter brought a message of hope. There was something that happened on the third day that gave the people hope! (v. 40, “Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly.” v. 44, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”) I want to preach on “The Hope of the Third Day.” It is our hope, our only hope. It was:
I. The Hope of Christ: Mark 8:31, Jesus began to ask the disciples who the people thought that he was. They answered, “John the Baptist, Elias, or one of the prophets.” Peter, however, declared his faith in Christ. Jesus then began to teach them of the things which he should suffer and how he would die. Peter rebuked him, but Jesus put Peter behind him. He knew of the suffering, but Jesus also said, “the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, AND AFTER THREE DAYS RISE AGAIN.” In John 10:17-18 Jesus said, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” He knew he would take it up again. In Matthew 26:39, he dreaded the cup, but he was certain that it would pass. He was looking to the hope of the third day! Hebrews 12:2 says that he “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
II. The Hope of the Church: Exodus 8:27, Moses told Pharaoh that Israel would go 3 days into the wilderness to worship. Pharaoh said go worship, but don’t go too far! The world is fine with religion, but they don’t want you to go “too far” with it. That’s what the world is saying today, “You people who worship the Living God, the Risen Christ, just go TOO FAR! If you would only lighten up, don’t get so loud, don’t rejoice so much, don’t talk about a man risen from the dead, it would be okay.” But, if you don’t go three days in- to faith in the resurrection while experiencing his power- you will never worship God. Exodus 19:11, the Lord would visit his people and deliver them from Egypt, but they could not worship in his presence until the third day. The only hope for the church to function is in the power of the third day- the resurrection of Christ! In this day of dead religion, that same power that raised up Jesus on the third day can raise the dead, dry bones of backslidden churches! Hosea 6:1 2 “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”
III. The Hope of Our Children: Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to take Isaac, his son, and sacrifice him. Three days pass on the journey, and when Isaac was strapped to the altar and Abraham had drawn his knife, it seemed all hope for him was gone, but God provided himself a lamb. Our children are dying in trespass and sins, and we can do nothing to stop it. In fact, our sin nature was passed on to them, so in some ways, we’re the ones who have passed death on them. There is hope for them, however, in the third day! Hebrews 2:9 says that He tasted death for all men! There is hope for our children in the third day! Even when it seems the whole world is at odds with your efforts to bring up your children for God’s glory, there is hope for them in the THIRD DAY! Peter said in Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Romans 4:18 says of Abraham, “Against hope he believed in hope...” He counted God able to raise Isaac from the dead! Just as he raised Jesus, just as he raised Isaac, so can he raise our children from death in trespasses and sins. Don’t stop praying for your children. Trust God. There is hope in him!