THE THIRD DAY
Three times in chapter one John speaks of “the next day” (vv. 29, 35, and 43). Then in 2:1 he says, “And the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.” According to the sequence, this should actually be the fifth day, for there have been the first day, three “next days,” and now the day mentioned in 2:1. But instead of saying the fifth day, John speaks in 2:1 of the third day. In order to use the expression “the third day” in 2:1, John repeatedly speaks of the next day in chapter one.
Each of the two incidents in chapter two is related to a third day. The third day in 2:1 was the day on which the Lord changed water into wine. In 2:19 the Lord said that “in three days” He would raise up the temple of His body. The expressions “the third day” and “in three days” both refer to resurrection. The Lord Jesus was raised up in three days. According to the New Testament, He was also raised up on the third day. The point here is that both expressions denote resurrection. By the use of these two expressions John indicates that the two signs in chapter two are both related to the Lord’s resurrection.
COMING IN RESURRECTION
John 2:1 indicates that it was on the third day that the Lord Jesus came to Cana of Galilee. This means that the Lord came in resurrection. When the Lord Jesus came to us, He came in resurrection. However, we may think that the Lord first came to the disciples in incarnation, not in resurrection. We would probably say, “When the Lord Jesus was living on earth, He came to the disciples. Certainly He came as a Man of Nazareth in incarnation. How can we say that He came in resurrection when He had not yet been crucified?” In 11:25 the Lord Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Notice that here the Lord says, “I am the resurrection”; He does not say, “I shall be the resurrection.” Even as a Man of Nazareth in the flesh, the Lord could say, “I am the resurrection.” According to the human concept, He was present merely in incarnation. But from God’s point of view in His economy, the Lord came to Cana of Galilee in resurrection, Cana means a land of reeds, and reeds signify weak and fragile people (Isa. 42:3; Matt. 12:20; 11:7). It was in resurrection that the Lord Jesus came to the weak and fragile people in Cana of Galilee—a despised place.
According to the Gospel of John, the Lord came to the people in resurrection. If He had not been in resurrection, but only in incarnation, He could not have changed water into wine. Only the One who is the divine life could do such a thing in resurrection.
The Lord was also in resurrection when He spoke to the Samaritan woman in chapter four. He indicated to her that He had the living water. How could a man in the flesh have living water? This is impossible. We know that the Samaritan woman received the living water from the Lord Jesus because she was satisfied, as indicated by the fact that she left her waterpot. When she went into the city to testify, she was bubbling. Living water was gushing out of her. She had obtained this living water from Christ who is in resurrection.
In John 6 the Lord Jesus revealed that He is the living bread, the bread of God that came down out of heaven to give life to the world. He also said, “He who eats Me shall also live because of Me” (6:57). The Lord Jesus did not say, “He who will eat Me after My resurrection will live.” On the contrary, He spoke in the present tense. When He said that He was the living bread from heaven, He seemed to be saying to the people, “Do not think of Me merely as one who grew up in Nazareth. I came down from heaven.” In chapter six of John the Lord Jesus was in resurrection.
The fact that the Lord came to Cana of Galilee on the third day indicates that He comes to us in resurrection. We are weak and fragile people living in a despised place. But in resurrection the Lord has come to us. Sometimes I am beside myself with joy when I think of this. Praise the Lord that He has come to me in resurrection! This makes me happy and causes me to flow with living water.
Once the Lord Jesus comes into us, He will never leave. He will stay with us for eternity. How wonderful that in resurrection Christ is with us and in us! Hallelujah, the Lord Jesus came to our Cana on the third day!
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)