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Pearls of the Kingdom 4/3/24

I came across these seven “remarkable moments” during the death of Jesus by C. H. Spurgeon. So I find myself looking at these and drawing our attention today to the last “remarkable moment.”


1. Sign over Jesus head with the inscription in Hebrew, Greek, Latin.


 Jn 19:19-20 “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.”


2. Salvation comes to the thief on the cross.


Luke 23:39-43 “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


3. Darkness from noon till three in the afternoon.


Luke 23:34 “It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.”


4. Curtain in the temple is torn from top to bottom.


Matt 27:51 “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” 


5. The earth shakes, rocks split.


 Matt 27:51b “The earth shook, the rocks split.” 

 

 6. The confession of the centurion and others watching.


Luke 23:47-48  “The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.:


7. Resurrection of the dead.


Matt 27:52-53 “and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people (saints) 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.”


This thought of those who were dead and now raised from the grave has certainly caught my curiosity. Just trying to imagine what this must have been like. How are you doing with this thought? Perhaps seeing someone alive, that you knew had died?


Only Matthew gives us insight to this event. Those that rose do so after Christ’s resurrection as He is the “first fruits” of those who slept. 


1 Cor 15:20 “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”


We do see that an earthquake shook the earth and split the rocks. The stones that closed and covered the sepulcher’s of these “holy people” were broken open.  We are given no clarity to “who” they were or how many. Could these have been some of the “Holy Saints” from the Old Testament? Were they some believers, “holy people” who had died recently? 


We can note that these “holy people” then entered Jerusalem and appeared to many other people. It is not given how long they were here or where did they go. One may believe that they appeared to persons who had known them while living and thus giving testimony, witness that they were dead and now live. What became of them it is unclear. Did they ascend with Jesus?


1 Thes 4:13-18  “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”


What an encouragement for you and for me, Jesus being the first fruits, shows us that the sting is now taken from death, the power of the grave is broken, that we who sleep in Jesus shall also rise again!


Pastor Jeff

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