Today's Reading - Matthew 27:32-66
Take a look at verses 45-53. There are SIX MIRACLES in those nine verses!
The first miracle was darkness. Verse 45. From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.
Darkness over the entire earth! There are historical records to back this up. Half the earth would have been in darkness already, but for three hours, from noon to 3:00 p.m., every culture in the world was in the dark. The sun literally went out. Why did God do that? This was the darkness of judgment. God judged every one of us, found each of us guilty, and poured all of our punishment on the one He loved the most in the darkness of those three hours. He did this miracle for me and for you.
The second miracle – verse 46. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
Jesus cried out; he screamed. He had been scourged and beaten. After carrying a 200-pound cross up a hill, he had been nailed to a cross for three hours. He lost blood. He lost strength. His body collapsed onto his lungs so he pushed himself up with wounded feet to catch a breath. With His life almost over, Jesus cried out in a loud and clear voice. That’s supernatural. But his cry wasn’t from the pain of the physical crucifixion. He cried out from the agony of his soul at being separated from His father. God, in His holiness, couldn’t look at the multitude of sin Jesus bore for us, so He turned away. And Jesus cried out from the torment of that separation for me and for you.
Miracle number three – verse 50. And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
In John 19:30, He says, It is finished.” Not I am finished. I love that. In Luke 23:46, He says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” I mean, who does that? Who can do that? You and I can’t say, “Lord, here’s my spirit. Take it because now is when I want to hand it over to you and I’m just going to fall over dead.” We can’t end our life by speaking. But Jesus did. He poured out His spirit and ascended into Heaven. Another miracle performed for me and for you.
Fourth miracle – verse 51. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
At the very moment Jesus gave up his spirit and left His body, the curtain that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies was ripped from top to bottom. That curtain was high and inaccessible and God ripped it from top to bottom. No man could have done that. A miracle. This Holy of Holies had represented the presence of God where no man, except the high priest, had a right to go. It was a place where you risked death at the hands of God if you entered. But at the very moment Christ died and gave up His spirit, the way was cleared into God’s presence through the blood of Christ. For me and for you.
Miracle number five – verse 51. The earth shook, the rocks split.
A destructive earthquake sent by God! He did that a lot in the Old Testament, furious, shaking the earth in judgment. And this time, it was just a preview of things to come. Check out Isaiah 24:19. Isaiah is looking forward to the time of judgment. The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is violently shaken. So at the moment He gave up His spirit and the curtain was torn, God sends that earthquake and reminds us that Christ will come again one day and righteousness will prevail for eternity. For me and for you.
Now for the last miracle and it's huge – verse 52. and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
Graves opened up. Not out of the ordinary when you have an earthquake. But then there is this – bodies were raised from the dead. Earthquakes just don’t do that. Bodies came out of graves; there was a physical resurrection. Their spirits came down from heaven and three days later, they went into Jerusalem, after the resurrection of Christ. In this miracle, God gives us the hope of the resurrection of our own bodies living in the presence of Christ! He gave this miracle to me and to you.
Do you believe in each of these miracles?
Will you commit them to your heart and share them with others?
Will you take advantage of the torn curtain today and enter into God’s presence?
Will you be in agony if not?
Ok put down the Bible and live this week like it was the last!
by Becky Lyle Pinkard