Journal Matt 27:32-66 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And Jesus cried out AGAIN with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
- The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, and;
- The earth shook and;
- The rocks were split;
- The tombs were opened;
- And many of the saints who had fallen asleep (died) were raised, and;
- Coming (came) out of the tombs after his (Jesus’) resurrection they went into the city and appeared to many.” Matt 27:50-53
Observation: During the Crucifixion story, this section doesn’t get talked about much. I think most of the time, the story goes from: sour wine, yielded His Spirit, then to the Centurions saying, “He must have been the Son of God.” There is just a bit more to consider…
Analysis: Golgotha. Desolate place. Place of death.
When I think of the Cross, I usually think of a bare cross. I have this mental aversion of thinking of Jesus hanging dead on the Cross. I don’t know why…I suppose I think of the Victorious Jesus rather than the Suffering Jesus.
It doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t pay rapt attention to earthly details that led up to Golgotha.
Matthew noted several things that would make that Friday stand out in the area around Jerusalem: Earthquake; rocks splitting. And then some supernatural things: Tombs opened (which could be a result of the earthquakes) and previously dead folks walking out of them.
I suppose “I see dead people” is too much of a pun to use here.
But I should think about this. Jesus died and some dead were raised. Maybe they stayed in the outskirts of the city for 3 days to get cleaned up and then on Easter morning walked into Jerusalem for a “howdy-do.” I think this qualifies for “signs and wonders” quite nicely.
The real attention getter is the line about the curtain: torn, from top to bottom, sort of like a Man grabbed the top and ripped it open—the curtain was irrevocably opened—forever. No longer was there a barrier between Man and God. There was…and now there’s not.
This morning I am not at all on top of my game. I am tired, fatigued. I have argumentative feelings toward my wife. I really want to be the boss of my household instead of a servant. I feel like it wouldn’t take too much to set me totally off.
And so, I write about the Cross, the hill where Jesus died to be the Atonement for my sin, to provide me access to the Father, who has adopted me—someone who deserves his Wrath—to be a son.
It is for a day like today that the practice of “Preaching the Gospel to Myself” is valuable. It is also a day like today where I find out how effective I am at it. Today…. not very.
Prayer: Father, it is good to firmly remember that You are unchangeable in Your care for me. From the highest mountain to the depth of the seas, is your love for me. Why is it that my ears are periodically dull of hearing? They are today.
Help me, O God. Reveal to me my sin so I can confess and repent. Help me to humble myself to my wife.
Bring revival. AMEN