Watching Mel Gibson’s “the Passion” shows vividly and accurately the process of the Crucifixion of Jesus, heart wrenching as it is, gruesome as it is, we see what a man or the Son of Man suffered and we see how much that suffering was at its extreme manifest, all of human hate and despising was poured out on Jesus. It seems we are seeing Isaiah 53 play out, to the detail, and I believe in the Messianic preparation ministry that Isaiah walked in, he saw something he could not comprehend. What he saw is outside the human comprehension, hence John 3:16 spells out the motivation of God the Father in such a gruesome Messianic mission.
There are 3 signs which confirm the Messianic mission being complete.
They are found in Matthew’s Gospel.
Temple Curtain rent
When Jesus breathed His last, “It is finished”, the curtain that divided the Most Holy Place to the outer courts was rent in two, in a final humiliation to the religious system of the day. What was seen within was ichabod, a place without a glory, without a Presence of God. It was empty, laid bare and this would be the greatest sign of rejection from God and that He was raising up a new Temple, for which would take 3 days! This sign in a nutshell is a rejection of any religious system that rejects His Message, His Mission, and His Manhood.
The Dead Raised
After the Curtain was rent the dead were raised, not ordinary people but “saints”, people who were known to be moving in God, and preached the Word with power. This means that Jesus was demonstrating His power in death, over death. It was also indicative of His mission in Hades, in Ephesians 4, Paul relates to Jesus’ mission there, releasing the Old Testament saints, to heaven, and taking the keys of death and hades from the Devil.
The Rocks were rent
There was an earthquake like never been felt in Jerusalem since the times of the kings. The whole land was shaken. There was a sense of a catastrophe. There was a sense that who had died had provoked an almighty response from God. It was testimony of Jesus’ authority over the earth.
What do these 3 signs mean for us this Easter? First since the nations have gone into lockdown, we have seen that the true messages, the true ministries have come to the fore. The “curtain” has been rent, and those who were not prepared went into fear, and we see the emptiness of their “temple”. For many this trying time has brought hidden and dead virtues back to life, and new purpose has been found, just like those dead saints, who came back to life.
For many their world has been shaken, by an earthquake, some have lost family members, in this coronavirus crisis. Yet Jesus is over this, and we see in the Passover/Easter story how Jesus won over all and came back victorious. We pray that those who have had family members taken by this virus that the Comforting Holy Spirit come and bring a message of hope.
These 3 signs may it bring comfort to our quieter celebration of this season, and may these evidences we have seen here give us the conviction that Jesus sacrificed but rose again to bring victory and hope. May we find that hope today.
There is no more hope in trusting in the world system, its politics, its health systems, for we are before a trial and a crisis never before seen. The dimension of it is global, and for a solution whilst the effects should be global, it must come from Him who has gone through death, gone through every wound, every humiliation. Either we trust the shadow of COVID19 does not darken our door, or we have a confidence that even if it does affect us, we have calm and peace that by faith He will come to our aid.
He permitted Jesus’ death, it was designated by the Father, as He has a hand in this current situation. He will bring eternal fruit from it. It will affect all of our eternal destiny. Just as the Cross stands in all eternity to change heaven and earth. Heaven is changed because what has been set in motion is the past redeemed, the present cleaned, the future determined. You either embrace the Cross, or not recognise it from the eternal point of view. He who embraces it, dies in it, fears no more, because he who has let go of his own life has embraced eternity. He who tries to save himself by tagging the cross as an amulet will lose his life, whether literally or symbolically, lose faith, confidence, purpose. The cross determines all. These 3 signs are consequences of the complete work.
For Jesus to open the way to God, must undergo such a death so that we may find new life. May that truth go out over the nations.