Summary: There are certain Scriptures that seem to be unique. One of them is found in the crucifixion narrative in Matthew. What do we do with these especially when they seem to be out of the ordinary?
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
“They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
Please open your Bibles to: Matthew 27:45-56
It was just two weeks ago that we celebrated Resurrection Sunday, the day when Jesus was raised by the power of God to life again, proving that He is indeed the Messiah! And, so we say, “Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!”
You know, we go a couple of weeks past Resurrection Sunday and we almost forget that Jesus was still walking on the earth, spending time with His disciples.
As I read once again through the resurrection accounts in the Gospels I came across an odd occurrence in Matthew’s account that is not mentioned in any of the other Gospels.
With that in mind let’s look at: Matthew 27:45-56
May God bless the reading of His Word … (Prayer for help …)
So, what was that odd occurrence?
“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.”
So, what do we see here?
- There was an earthquake
- The earthquake was so violent that rocks were split. The rocks were not dislodged and moved about but they were split.
- Tombs broke open.
o We know that Jesus’ body was place in a “new tomb that [Joseph of Arimathea] had cut out of the rock” Matthew 27:60
- The bodies of many holy people were raised to life
o Who were they
o Were they Old Testament prophets?
o Were they New Testament people like Zechariah, John the Baptist, Joseph?
o Did they have to die again and be buried again or were they somehow taken directly to heaven?
o Were they in resurrected bodies?
o Who did they appear to?
o Did they say anything to anyone or just “appear” to them?
o How did the people react?
- Was this just more evidence that Jesus was the Messiah?
- This had never happened before and has never happened since.
Do I believe it happened? Yes, of course I do.
Do I praise God for it?
Yes, His power is great, even giving us a sample of the future resurrection of the dead!
So, what does this mean to us?
One thing that we know for sure is that it means that the Lord has power over death.
It means that the Lord can raise the dead whenever He wants to do so.
It also means that while this is certainly interesting we should not take too much time getting sidetracked about Scriptures that are curiosities.
We should not be sidetracked by oddities from which we can bring no definite conclusions or applications.
But we should be proclaiming the simple truths that this world needs so badly such as
the truths found throughout the Scriptures.
- Humanity was lost in sin and needed a Savior
- God had a plan to save us
- The Father sent His One and Only Son who died for our sins
- Jesus, the Son rose from the dead … Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
- We can find salvation only through Jesus
- Then we live for the glory of God and for the kingdom of God!
Have you ever noticed any other Scriptures that seem to be “one of a kind” Scriptures?
Here’s one …
We know that God hates sin.
We know that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood.
God sent His son to shed His blood so that we could be forgiven!
So, what do we do when we come to …
1 John 5:16-17 where it says,
“If anyone sees a brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.”