We are continuing our daily meditations upon the supernatural ministry of the Lord Jesus. Today, we focus on three supernatural displays of God’s power at the crucifixion of Christ:
Matthew’s gospel records the first supernatural phenomena: “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land” (Matthew 27:45). Passover always occurred on a full moon, so a solar eclipse was out of the question during a full moon, and even if it could, an eclipse cannot last for three hours. This darkening sun was a sign of judgment and divine displeasure at what took place at Calvary. Jesus was bearing the wrath of God on sin during those three crucial hours. That was why Jesus spoke the words, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me." Some commentators say that the darkening of the sun was sent as a veil to cover the nakedness and sufferings of Christ.
The second supernatural phenomenon was that of a great earthquake that took place when Christ died, with tombs opening and dead people coming to life:
51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people (Matthew 27:51-53).
The third supernatural event was what took place in the temple. At the same time that Christ died, the temple curtain separating God from man was torn in two from the top of the curtain to the bottom, signifying this as a sign from heaven. Many priests came to faith in Christ (Acts 6:7) when they found out what had happened at Calvary at 3 p.m., the traditional time for the congregational slaying of the lambs for Passover.
While thousands were in the temple courts for the ritual slaying of the Passover lambs, those ministering in the temple came out shocked when invisible hands tore the temple curtain, cloth as thick as a man’s hand, right before their eyes. The curtain was torn by God to show Jew and Gentile that the way into the very presence of God was open to all of us. Jesus took out of the way the sin barrier that kept man from enjoying a relationship with God. He paid the penalty for your sin and mine. "Calvary shows how far men will go in sin, and how far God will go for man's salvation" (H. C. Trumbull).
The Gospel is the news of a Living Savior Who died in your place so that you and I can know God. He took the punishment we deserved and nailed it to the cross and, if we will repent (change our minds and direction in life) and believe (yield your life and trust to Christ and His saving work) the Gospel, then we will be saved (enjoy all the blessings of the covenant including eternal life). Will you trust Him? Keith Thomas