The Power of Three

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV


A devotion for April 24th through the 30th


Sometimes things will sort of hit me.  I hear something or see something, and I find myself thinking about that thing and tossing it around in my head.  I look for meaning, a message, or a purpose.  I mostly try to learn something.  Recently I started thinking about certain numbers and how they come up repeatedly in the Bible.  There is meaning behind those numbers but still, it fascinates me.

Look at the number 3.  The number 3 appears in the Bible approximately 467 times.  In Hebrew, number 3 means harmony, new life, and completeness.  This is very fitting when thinking about God, His word, and the promises He has made.  Nothing in God’s word is trivial, it all has meaning.  Let’s look at some of the times 3 appears in the Bible.

There are many places in the Bible that refer to the Father, son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19 being a specific one).  The Godhead is looked at as being 3, or Trinity.  There are stories in the Bible that refer to the number 3, such as the story of Jonah.  Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3 days (Jonah 1:17).  There is the story of the 3 Hebrews and the fiery furnace (Daniel 3), and Daniel prayed 3 times a day, “as was his custom” (Daniel 6:10).  In Revelation 14:6-20, we read about the 3 angel’s messages.  There are many more stories with the number 3 in them.

I think my favorite place in the Bible to find the number 3 is in the story of Jesus.  In Matthew 26:36-46 we read how Jesus went to Gethsemane and prayed 3 separate times before Judas betrayed Him.  Peter denied his Savior 3 times (John 18:15-17 and John 18:25-27).  In John 2:19 (NKJV) it states, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’” And in the crucifixion (John 19:16-30), we see 3 crosses, 3 nails, and 3 days. 

We always see the 3 crosses depicted everywhere.  Jesus was crucified along with two others, setting up the 3 crosses.  Jesus was nailed to the cross with 3 nails, one in each hand and one through both feet together.  Jesus died on day one, rested and kept the Sabbath on day two, and rose again on day 3, fulfilling the prophecy He spoke earlier in John, quoted above.

Going back to the Hebrew meaning of the number 3, you can see the meaning fulfilled as well.  Harmony, new life, and completeness.  Jesus put the universe back into harmony.  Jesus brings new life.  The battle between good and evil, complete.  Jesus won!

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