On the Third Day

As I've mentioned, this year I've made the Gospel of John the focus of my daily Bible reading. Instead of reading through the Bible in a year, I've settled down into this gospel.

As you can imagine, when you read through a gospel over and over again, little things you've never noticed before jump out at you. You catch little details. I've spent the year chasing down these details and any mysteries that might lay behind them. Here's one from John 2, the miracle of Cana:

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
Did you catch the odd little detail? (I'm sure you did because of the title of the post.) The story starts off with "on the third day." On the third day of what? There is no reference point. Third day after some event? Third day of the week? It's just "on the third day."

If "on the third day" has a reference, my best guess is that it refers back to the events in Chapter 1, the gathering of Jesus' first followers. On the first day, Jesus meets Andrew and Peter. On the second day, he meets Philip and Nathaniel. And then, on the third day, they all go to the wedding in Cana.

But some scholars see "on the third day" as a hint about the resurrection. On the third day Jesus turns water into wine. On the third day ordinary existence becomes transformed into something wondrous, joyful, and abundant. "On the third day" links the first sign with the last.

In that sense, every day with Jesus is "the third day," a day of resurrection and life where joy and celebration flow.

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