TEXT: Matthew 27:45-53
Introduction: One of the basic, central themes of the entire Bible is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. Each of the four gospel accounts of Christ’s life has a fairly detailed description of His crucifixion.
Read TEXT. Darkness—veil of temple torn—earthquake—dead saints raised; why are these powerful events recorded and what was God signifying to us by them?
Consider these questions as we look at TITLE.
I. God caused darkness over the land--“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land”
A. Usual explanation—God was showing how dark were the sins which led to Jesus’ crucifixion; darkness often used to symbolize sin: Jn. 3:19-21
B. However, Jesus came to bring God’s light to this dark world: Jn. 9:1-4ff
C. Thus, we’re encouraged to seek the light rather than darkness: Rom. 13:11-14
II. The veil of the temple was torn--“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom”
A. The veil separated the holy place from the most holy place in the tabernacle/temple: Exo. 26:31-33, 27:21, 40:1-3; Lev. 16:2, 15
B. Analogy of Hebrews—the way to heaven not manifest while first tabernacle standing: Heb. 9:6-10
C. The rending of the veil would signify the taking away of the old law: Heb. 10:8-10—thus opening way to heaven: Heb. 6:17-20
III. There was an earthquake--“and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split”
A. Earthquakes often symbolized God’s power: 1 Ki. 19:11-12, Jer. 10:10, Matt. 28:2
B. The Bible repeatedly reminds us that God will use His power to judge the world: Acts 17:30-31
C. Thus, this earthquake underscores God’s judgment against all sin in the death of His Son: Heb. 12:25-29
IV. Dead saints were raised --“and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised”
A. This phenomenon prefigures the coming resurrection of Christ Himself: Rom. 1:3-4
B. It also prefigures our own future resurrection when the Lord returns: 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 50-54
C. And it dramatically illustrates the truth that Christ destroyed death by His own death: Heb. 2:14-15
Conclusion: We weren’t there to witness the crucifixion of Christ and these amazing events which accompanied it. But based on the eyewitness testimony, we believe that these things happened and that Jesus died for our sins.
However, it’s not enough just to believe in these things—we must accept the implications of them and yield our lives in obedience to God’s will. If anyone wishes to receive the benefits of Christ’s death, he or she needs to follow His plan: Rom. 6:3-4…
By Wayne S. Walker
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