There are several dark to light elements in this story that will be discussed. Jesus was sealed in a cave in the evening (Mark 15: 42). On Passover, the women rested but were out while it was dark the next day (John 20:1). The sun was rising on the first day of the week as they found the empty tomb. I wanted to leave off “of the week” because it was the first day of a new era for mankind. The light of grace had rolled away an earthly barrier and had come out to start things anew!
It really is not right to say Jesus stayed in a dark tomb for three days. Saturday of Holy Week is often overlooked in its importance. Jesus did not come out, He went “down” to retrieve the keys that no longer could stay in Hell. Death had a job to do on the first Passover but Jesus had ended the old, so ownership of the keys was restored to Him. (Please click on Jesus Preached– it is a poem. These link with Saturday and Holy Week for previous studies.) The references are Matthew 27: 67, Revelations 1:18, Ephesians 4:8, and 1 Peter 3:19, 4:6.
Another darkness that became light was the cloud on the minds of all of the followers of Jesus. The dark cloud that had covered the understanding of all the followers of Jesus was replaced with the light of understanding the Scriptures. This dawn took most of the first day, as the women saw Him first, then Peter, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and finally the remaining Apostles. The darkness that started at the cross was replaced with the light of a risen Jesus!
Three– Jesus predicted the three days in the tomb by using Jonah’s stay in the great fish.
End and Start – The First Adam had given up a lot when he ate the fruit in the Garden. The Second Adam (Jesus) reclaimed the keys to death and Hades.
Jesus in the darkness coming into the light had been played out many times before. All of them pointed to this moment. Creation, the first Passover, God filling the Temple all gave us pictures of what was to come! He now came from the tomb to start a new picture – Jesus returning for His Bride.
The next fifty days speak to many things. Jesus stayed with the disciples for forty days (showing Himself to many). Then a ten-day period where the disciples prepared themselves and sought the coming of the Spirit.
The Spirit arriving on Pentecost shares things with Israel meeting God on the Mountain. A notable part is missing – the darkness. The Spirit arrives with fire (light) and the sound of a mighty wind. (Think about the Second Coming of Jesus.) The Church/Bride has her birthday, and Jews and Gentiles become one new creation.
FURTHER THOUGHT – Reflect on the Book of Revelations by comparing it with the Book of Acts and the time of the Church under the Caesars.