Friday, May 17, 2013


At the moment Jesus died on the cross, our Father did some miraculous things that hardly ever get discussed.  The order of these events is not clear to me, and it is even possible that they happened simultaneously.  Here is what Matthew wrote concerning that horrible, yet awesome moment in time:
"Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God" (Mt. 27:51-54).
The Temple "Veil" is the Old Testament Hebrew פָּרֹכֶת (poreketh), where it is translated "vail" 25 times.  The Greek word, translated "veil" is καταπέτασμα (katapetasma), and it appears 6 times in the New Testament.  I found various descriptions of its thickness, from four to six inches, but regardless of the thickness, the fact that it was torn "from the top to the bottom," tells us it was the work of God; the vail/veil was about thirty feet tall.  
The Earth Quake was strong enough to open several of the sealed graves, and strong enough to cause the onlookers to proclaim of Jesus:  "Truly this is the Son of God."  Mark 15:39 and Luke 23:47 attribute the comment to the Centurion alone, but Matthew uses the pronoun "they" meaning those who were with him were in agreement.  It is interesting to note that, although the graves were opened at the time of Christ's death, the resurrected bodies did not arise until after Jesus arose.  That is because Jesus was to be the "firstfruits" from the grave (1 Cor. 15:20-23).  And since the explanation of when they arose clearly tells us they were resurrected, and not raised like Lazarus, they must now be in heaven with Jesus.
The Darkness departed.  According to Mark, Jesus was crucified at the third hour (9:00 a.m. - Mk. 15:25).  Matthew wrote, "Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (3 p.m.).  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink.  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save Him.  Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost" (Mt. 27:45-50). 
Note that the darkness only occurred the last three hours Christ was on the cross.  So, from about 3 p.m. unto sunset (perhaps around 7 p.m.), there had to be normal daylight.
Those present at the cross were given plenty of evidence that Jesus truly is the Son of God! 

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