Summary: Last week we looked at some events leading up to the crucifixion that had to do with brokenness. We looked at the broken seal on the jar of perfume, the broken protocol in Jesus' arrest and trial, and the broken hearts. What else was broken?
BROKEN (part two)
Recap: Last week in pt. 1 I talked about some events leading up to the crucifixion that had to do with brokenness. First, we looked at Mary breaking the seal on her jar of expensive perfume so she could anoint Jesus. She was willing to let go of something very valuable to honor her Lord. What are we willing to give up to show how much the Lord means to us?
Then we looked at how the religious leaders broke protocol in their arrest and trial of Jesus. Yet Jesus remained silent during their harsh inquisition. But he broke his silence when asked to declare whether or not he was the Messiah. In some situations, remaining silent is in our best interest except when it comes to declaring that Jesus is Lord.
And lastly, we looked at how there were some broken hearts that day. The Father's heart was broken in having to turn and walk away from his son when he took our sins upon himself. Jesus' heart was broken for the same reason which is why he cried out in anguish about being forsaken by the Father. Jesus' heart was also broken over his people's refusal to believe in him.
Then we looked at Jesus' mother Mary. Her heart was broken over witnessing what was happening to her son as any mother's would be. And his disciples had broken hearts too. Do our hearts break over what happened to Jesus? Let's see what else was broken.
1) The broken barrier.
Matt. 27:50-54, "And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
When the curtain of the temple was torn completely it signified two barriers that were broken. One was the barrier between Jews and gentiles for now Christ's sacrifice made it possible for all to be saved. The other broken barrier was between man and God. The tearing of the curtain meant there was no longer any sacrifice for sins needed because Jesus was the final sacrifice.
The curtain of the temple separated the holy place from the most holy place. Up to that point, the high priest would go into the Most Holy Place to make atonement for the sins of the people. Now that was no longer necessary. Also, only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place where God was. And this was allowed only once a year. But now, with the barrier broken, that opened the way for all believers to enter into the presence of God any time they wanted to.
Heb. 10:19-22, "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."
Through Christ we are allowed to enter the Most Holy Place and approach the throne of God and draw near to him with confidence. Confidence, not arrogance. God is still holy and that holiness is to be respected. We are approaching a pure and holy God who is all powerful so we need to always approach him with humility. But we are thankful that now that barrier is broken and we can have the close relationship with God that the Jews of old weren't able to have.
And notice it said in Matthew that not only was the curtain torn but the tombs broke open too. And when Jesus resurrected they went into the city. This happened to further legitimize that Jesus conquered death. As the seal on Jesus' tomb was broken, so were the tombs of these people broken.
And likewise, the seal on our tombs will be broken and we will come back to life; although not literally like those people did. What happened to them was a sign to show what will happen to us spiritually. Although we die physically, through Christ we are made alive spiritually.
After Lazarus died, Jesus consoled his sister Martha. John 11:25-26, "Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”