It’s amazing how a few small words can change a story completely, or at least add an entirely new level of meaning. One of Jesus’ closest followers recounted a story about Jesus changing water into wine when a family had run out during a wedding celebration. To help us understand the significance of the story, John added four small words at its outset, “on the third day”. All of a sudden there’s more going on here than Jesus simply helping out a family. Readers during the time when John was writing his mini-biography, would have immediately connected the words “on the third day” to the end of the story, to the part where Jesus was murdered and then came back from the dead three days later. Somehow this story relates to that story.
What Jesus was starting with his death and resurrection is a lot like a wedding. Weddings are places where people who weren’t family before become family now in order to do life together. Jesus’ death and resurrection means that he has made us his family, that his greatest desire to is do life with us, and not just right now, but for the rest of forever. God does not stand back at a detached distance watching us muddle through life, nor does He often jump in and make decisions for us, resolving all the tension that life brings. God is with us, as we make good decisions, and as we pick up the pieces from bad decisions. That’s what family does. Just like marriage, life with God doesn’t mean that all of the challenges go away. It means that we don’t have to face them alone.