After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. - Hosea 6:2
Paul says that Jesus was raised on the third day in accordance with the Old Testament Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:4). Hosea 6:2 gives us a glimpse of some of those Old Testament realities that speak of resurrection. Hosea 6 exhorted the exiled people of Israel to return to God. They were to trust in the promise that even though they would be in exile for their sins, God would revive and raise them on the third day. God would bring his people back from exile so that they could live before him. Could a passage that speaks of Israel being resurrected from exile “on the third day” be what Paul has in mind when he says that Jesus was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures?
There are certainly many passages that speak to the reality of resurrection both at a corporate and individual level (Isa.26:19; Dan. 12:2; Isa. 53:9-11; Matt. 12:39-40). But only in Hosea 6:2 does it speak of resurrection on the third day. That Paul has Hosea 6:2 in mind in 1 Corinthians 15:4 becomes all the more likely when we see that in the New Testament Jesus is the representative and fulfillment of Israel. Jesus’s ministry embodied the life of Israel as seen in Matthew 1-5. Jesus embodied the life of Israel in his ministry but with some differences. Israel would be in exile for their sin but be restored (Hos. 6:2). Jesus, the true and better Israel, was struck down for sin that was not his own, and was resurrected on the third day.
All of those who trust in Jesus will likewise defeat death and have everlasting life. What a hopeful future. We will live before our God's presence.
Song: You Have Been Raised