And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matthew 27:51-53)
In the Old Testament, God’s people worshiped in the temple in Jerusalem. In the temple, there was an inner room called the Most Holy Place. A thick and heavy curtain separated the Most Holy Place from all the other rooms. And Hebrews 9:7 tells us that “only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.”
The tearing down of the temple curtain was right after Christ suffered God’s judgment and wrath, and gave up His life for us (Matthew 27:45-50). This teaches us that His atoning sacrifice opened the way for us to be forgiven and reconciled to the Father. Because Jesus satisfied divine justice through His death, God the judge opened “the new and living way” of all-time access to Himself (Hebrews 10:20) for all His people.
Then, Matthew tells us of an earthquake and the resurrection of Old Testament believers. This alludes to the coming back to life of the “dry bones” in Ezekiel 37:12-13. It is also a foretaste of the final future fulfillment of OT promises of resurrection for God’s people. (Isaiah 26:19; Hosea 6:2; Daniel 12:2; Zechariah 14:4-5). To us, it is a guarantee of the fulfillment of Christ’s promise of resurrection (John 5:25-29; 6:39-40; 11:25).
“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
Having suffered and died for sins, He gives us life.
Oh yes, believer in Christ! No matter how weak and imperfect you are, the Savior’s life is yours. Hold on to His promise. In Him, your salvation and resurrection is guaranteed. With your Immanuel, sing,
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
(1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
This is my Resurrection Sunday message. Read my Good Friday message here.