(Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 417 since Jan. 20, 2017 / Day 784 since Jan. 1, 2016)
TEXT: Matthew 27:35-54
35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36 And sitting down they watched him there;
37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Today, on Good Friday, we remember and celebrate the death of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most important days in history, second-only to the day of Jesus’ resurrection. Allow me to recap the events of Holy Week leading up to the passage that we just read.
EVENTS OF HOLY WEEK
– On Sunday, two disciples borrow a colt and Jesus makes His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Here comes the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
– On Monday, Jesus cleanses the Temple. Here comes the compassionate judge.
– On Tuesday, Jesus curses the fig tree, teaches in the Temple again, and delivers the Olivet Discourse.
– On Wednesday, Judas agrees to betray Jesus.
– On Thursday, the upper room is prepared and Jesus and His disciples hold the Last Supper there. Afterwards, Judas leaves, and Jesus and the 11 disciples go to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays regarding the upcoming crucifixion. Late that night, Jesus is arrested. Here come the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
– In the wee hours of Friday morning, Jesus is put on trial three times before Jewish officials. The disciples flee and Peter denies Jesus three times before the rooster crows. Judas tries to return the 30 pieces of silver, and then commits suicide. Then, Jesus is taken before Roman authorities, Pilate and Herod, where he stands trial three times. Jesus is scourged. Pilate, submitting to demands from the Jewish crowd whom the religious leaders have turned against Jesus, hands Jesus over to be crucified. Jesus carries His cross to Golgotha, where He commits His spirit unto the Father and gives up the ghost. He is later buried by Joseph and Nicodemus.
You know this story very well, and it is one that we never tire of hearing. Today, I want to speak to you from the shadow of the cross. During the hours that Jesus was lifted up from the earth, three things happened that are significant to us today. These seemingly minor events are not dealt with at length in Scripture — they are just mentioned in a matter of fact way — but they foreshadow the major consequences of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for believers and all people.
First, notice the Torn Veil. Verse 51 of our passage reads, “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” Now, some during that time might have attributed the tearing of the veil to the great earthquake that shook Jerusalem during that time. But, since Old Testament times, the veil between the Holy of Holies and the rest of the Temple — yea, the rest of the world — had stood as a literal and figurative symbol of the barrier between God and man. The tearing of the veil at Jesus’ death indicated that this barrier was no longer in place. Jesus had done what He came to do — make it possible for fellowship to be restored between sinful man and Holy God. Colossians 1:21 says, “Having made peace through the blood of his cross… you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” You and I are saved and are able to communicate with God freely because, by Jesus’ death, the veil, the barrier was torn down.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”