Matthew 27:45-56 … We continue reading the somber and holy moments of the crucifixion. It was an ugly scene with people milling about taunting, ridiculing, and mocking the Messiah of God. Why didn’t God come and squash them all like bugs? Again, 2 Corinthians 5:19 clarifies: God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and the reconciler will not squash the sinful because He desires all to come to repentance.
Although He didn’t intervene, God’s presence is felt in this passage with miraculous power. Did you catch it as you read? There is a series of great miracles here, even as Christ is dying on the cross. First, the darkness covers the land: the “sixth hour” was high noon and God sent darkness on the land. There is no way to have three hours of darkness by known natural causes at noon. Then, in verse 51, the temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom. This veil was a thick, intricately woven, and elaborate fabric. Some say it was as thick as a man’s hand. It separated the two rooms inside the temple: the holy place held the table of showbread, the golden candelabra, and the altar of incense; and the holy of holies was where the high priest only could enter once per year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The miracle of the torn veil at the entrance to the holy of holies signified that the need for sacrifices was gone for all time; now we have a new and living way into the presence of God, through the Savior, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:20). Another miracle appears in verse 51: an apparent earthquake with great impact and force. And another frightening miracle was the event of graveyard resurrections of faithful saints who had died and were buried nearby (v.52). This was quite a scene, causing the calloused centurion assigned to carry out the crucifixion to exclaim, “Truly this was the Son of God” (v.54). And so Jesus suffered, bled, and died upon the cross (v.50) taking the wrath of God against sin upon Himself for the salvation of many (Matthew 26:28).
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