2021_04_14 Insight Post- Rusty Coram
This week's reading- Matthew 27
“The Greatest Story Ever Told” was an epic movie made in 1965 about Jesus. It was on a grand scale and featured major Hollywood stars of the day. For those of us that are old enough, you may have noticed the Roman centurion at the foot of the cross who said, “Surely this man was the son of God.” Bonus: The actor who played that part was John Wayne... and he says his lines with the same inflection he did in the countless westerns he starred in. (If you would like to hear it check it out by clicking here.
It is extremely interesting to me that the Roman Centurion that oversaw Jesus’ crucifixion, recognized and verbalized, what the religious experts refused to see – that Jesus is God. In Matthew 27 we discover that several unusual things accompanied Jesus’ death. There was an unusual mid-day darkening of the sky, and an earthquake that rocked the region... both of these events were creation responding in shock. At the moment of His death the veil/curtain in the temple tore in two. This is very significant because this veil protected the most sacred place in the temple – the Holy of Holies. Once a year the High Priest would enter there and sprinkle blood on the alter on behalf of all the people for the forgiveness of their sins. This ritual had been established by God as a picture of what the perfect and final sacrifice, Jesus, would one day do. At His death that final sacrifice was made, and there was no longer a need for sacrifices or human mediators. We now have direct access to God through the Son. “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:14–16 (NLT)
One more amazing thing happened that weekend that gives a taste of what is to come when history is wrapped up: “The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.” Matthew 27:51-53 (NLT)
Matthew merely reports this without a lot of fanfare, but it's clear that when Jesus rose from the dead, He was accompanied by others. This is a reminder that a day will come when we all, like Jesus, will be raised to live again in Heaven for eternity. Like the Centurion, all I can say is that the overwhelming evidence proves that “This man truly was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54)