"Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. " Matthew 27:51-53
Do you ever find something new when reading your Bible? I know I do all the time. I can have read a passage a hundred times over in life, and then just like that, there's something new there that I never really noticed before. The Living Word amazes me constantly.
The words that captured me the other day are posted right here above. Jesus was crucified, and I don't know that I ever really noticed these verses- do you see what they are saying? They are saying that at the time that Jesus died, many of the graves opened up, and people rose from the dead. Furthermore, they went into Jerusalem and appeared to many! But then we read nothing more about it. Who were these once-dead saints? Were they back to life in their earthly bodies for a time- but then what happened when it was time for them to die again? Did they just disappear like Enoch? Caught up into Heaven? Or did they die an earthly death a second time, needing their bodies to be buried once again. This is one of those questions that I suspect I'll be taking with me to heaven to ask myself.
Imagine what that must have been like. You're in Jerusalem minding your own business, you know that on the outskirts of the city the man Jesus of Nazareth is being crucified. You yourself haven't quite decided what you make of him, you think he could be the Messiah, but you're not quite certain, but you're thinking on it as you go about your daily business. And then there is thunder and lighting, there is darkness in the middle of the day, and then as you're walking through the city, you see someone you haven't seen in years. You see an old neighbor who passed away years ago- and what you remember about that neighbor was how much they seemed to love and believe in God. And suddenly, there he is, as if he hadn't been dead for twenty years now. I can't help but think that at that moment, you would fall to your knees, certain that Jesus had indeed been the Messiah, and that your people just made a huge mistake.
I'm glad I wasn't there during that time. And I'm even more glad that we don't have to wonder whether or not Jesus Christ is the Messiah, because He IS. He paid the ultimate price for our own recklessness and sinful behavior. Jesus paved the way for us to spend an eternity in paradise, with our Heavenly Father, and our brother Jesus Christ at His side.
You know, History is our major focus of our school studies here at home. History is so important, because when we look back, we can learn from our past. We can see the mistakes that have been made, and then purpose to not make them again. Over 2000 years ago a people decided that Jesus was not the Messiah they were waiting for- and as a result, they are still waiting. We don't have to wait another moment. He has already come, and He is very much alive and living- ready for us to reach out our hearts to Him and ask Him to be Lord over our lives. That's all it takes, and we can make Jesus our own personal Messiah. He's waiting for that very thing.
"Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16