Has anyone ever considered Numbers 19:11-12 when discussing why Jesus resurrected on the third day and not another day? I was reading my daily bible reading and this struck me during the reading.

Numbers 19:11-12

He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean.

Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law. He always instructed those that he healed of leprosy to present themselves to the priests as called for in the law. I suggest that if Jesus died then re-entered his body then he touched a dead body and would have had to have purified himself on the third day to fulfill the law. He did instruct Mary not to touch him because he had not ascended to the Father. Was this his way of purifying himself on the third day and not allowing Mary to be unclean if she touched him?

2 Answers 2


I was wondering about that very thing myself just the other day, and now you have referenced it for me. When Jesus came to John to be baptized, as we know, John was incredulous and said "Lord! you come to baptized by me?!"

And Jesus said "it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15).

The Good News Bible says it like this, "in this way we shall do all that God requires". Many other versions saying "it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness".

Also to consider, is how His body "did not see corruption" as stated in Psalm 16:10 and quoted by both Peter, and later Paul, in the book of Acts.

Since His body did not see corruption, and doubly, being risen (but not yet ascended) His body was wholly new and only of life, therefor not 'unclean'. But God being a God of beauty through order, how logical to rise on the third day in the new glorified body, as a sort of cleansing (baptism) from the old one.


I generally associate his instruction to Mary Magdalene as the fulfillment of that written indirectly concerning him, 'Touch not mine anointed, do my prophets no harm'(1 Chr. 16:22, also in the Psalms). I have also associated Numbers 19's 'third day' with Jesus' resurrection, but only in terms of that written in 19:12b, that such a one needed to be purified with the ashes of the red heifer on the third day in order to be cleansed. As far as declaring him unclean for entering his former body, it would seem not the case, for otherwise he would have been made 'unclean' by both entering the 'tent' of the deceased, as well touching the dead in resurrecting them, lepers as well(Mark 1:40-42), who, by his doctrine(John 11:25), I would say was not made unclean thereby.

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    I can't help but feel that a downvoter has the added responsibility of explaining her or his vote. Anonymous downvoting is not only not helpful, it borders on cowardly, IMO. Mar 1, 2018 at 19:29

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