THIRD DAY RESTORATIONDraft commentary for upcoming Commonwealth of Israel Study Bible - by C.W. Steinle for the Commonwealth of Israel Foundation
1 Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
He has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence. - NIV
|Jesus and Mary Magdalene
Perhaps quoting from an early creed, the apostle Paul reiterated in 1st Corinthians 15:4: "That He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." Hosea 6:2 is sufficient in itself to stand as that scriptural reference. Hos 6:2 speaks, in context, of the revival and restoration of both houses of Israel. The iniquity and judgment of Ephraim and Judah constitutes the focus of Chapter Five, culminating with an analogy that flows through the first verse of the sixth chapter: "For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear them and go away..." (Hos 5:14) "He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds" (Hos 6:1). "Us," who sinned, who were injured, and who are to be restored are none other than the house of Israel and the House of Judah.
The promise of the restoration is to "live in His presence" (Hos 6:2). The obstacle to abiding before the face of God is sin: "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you..." (Isa 59:2). Such atonement for sin is only afforded by the New Covenant, which was made specifically to resolve the sins of the two houses of Israel: “'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,' then He adds, 'Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more'” (Heb 10:16-17).
The forgiveness of sins is often attributed solely to Christ's sacrificial death. However, later in Paul's discourse on resurrection he asserts: "If Christ is not risen... you are still in your sins" (1 Cor 15:17). This requirement, not only for Christ's death but also for His resurrection, comes from the same source which implies an obvious third-day scriptural reference; obvious at least to both houses of Israel during the 1st century. Just as the House of Israel and the House of Judah could not live in God's presence without the forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace accomplished by Jesus, the Scripture of Hosea 6:2 would have been broken by a restoring resurrection on any other than the third day.
"That we may live..." (Hos 6:2) “Because I live, you will live also" (John 14:19) "If then you were raised with Christ" (Col 3:1). Life in God's presence, freed from the stigma of iniquity, relationship restored - all through faith that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3-4).