The Supernatural Phenomena at the Death of Christ


The first supernatural event was the darkness that came over all the land from the sixth hour (noon) to the ninth hour, 3 pm (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 of the 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 believe the darkening of the sun was sent to cover the nakedness and sufferings of Christ.


The second supernatural happening was that of a great earthquake, with the 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 that this was a sign from heaven. No wonder many of the priests came to faith (Acts 6:7). When the priests found out what had happened at Calvary at 3 p.m., the traditional time for the congregational slaying of the lambs for Passover, many of them believed and placed their faith in Christ.


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 you and me that the way into the very presence of God was open for all of us. Jesus took out of the way the barrier that separated God from man. Sin is what keeps us from enjoying a relationship with God, and Jesus paid the penalty for our sin. "Calvary shows how far men will go in sin, and how far God will go for man's salvation" (H. C. Trumbull). [1]


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. If we repent (change our minds and direction in life) and believe (yield your life and trust 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?


Prayer: Father, just as the thief on the cross expressed his heart's desire to enter into life with the words "Remember me when You come into Your kingdom," I also ask You, please forgive me my sin. I turn around today and yield my life over to You. I choose to trust You with my eternal wellbeing. Because I put my trust in You, receive me into Your kingdom. Amen. Keith Thomas.

Taken from the series on the Gospel of Luke. Click study 63. The Crucifixion of Christ

[1] Compiled by John Blanchard, Gathered Gold, A Treasury of Quotations for Christians, Printed by Evangelical Press, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, 1984. Page 58.