At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
Our precious Jesus …
I CANNOT imagine being a witness to this cold-hearted act. How did his mother endure? She knew from the beginning that He was The Son of God — yet He came from her womb. It must have been more than her mind could comprehend.
Can you imagine what the Jewish leaders thought when the curtain of the temple was torn? This wasn’t some thin sheet hanging over a doorway because 1 Kings 6:2 records that Solomon’s temple was 30 cubits high (45 feet tall). The first Jewish historian Josephus records that Herod extended the temple’s height to 40 cubits high (60 feet tall) . Josephus also records that the veil was four inches thick!
The veil was used to separate the people from the Holy of Holies where God’s presence rested. Only the chosen High Priest could enter behind the veil once a year to make an atonement for the sins of the people.
Can you imagine what happened after it was ripped? Did the Jewish leaders make another veil? Surely they continued with their rituals — not understanding that because of Jesus we ALL have access to the Holy of Holies.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
What did the Jewish leaders think about the dead who were walking the streets? Did the people live out another life? Did they return to their tombs? I wonder what happened (just being curious), but what if that happened today?
Surely those stone-hearted religious people figured out the truth after all of this? Right? (Unfortunately NO.)
It looked dark and hopeless for the lovers of Jesus, yet supernatural things happened which must have given them hope to know that they were right. They weren’t fooled. These men and women didn’t study theology, yet they saw what the religious did not.
How could signs like this be ignored by the Jewish elite?
Yes, it must have looked hopeless to the followers of Jesus — but Sunday was coming!
He is ALIVE and now our spirits will NEVER have to taste death!
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
He is ALIVE!
How kind of Jesus to show Himself to them! He is so loving and good!
The followers of Jesus went from devastation to jubilee!
We too can feel hopeless sometimes. The lovers of Jesus didn’t realize everything was about to change. HOPE CAME on Sunday!
Hang tight, Sunday is coming!
Happy Resurrection Day Everyone!