By Stuart Powell
In his description of Good Friday, Matthew shared details about three events that corresponded with the time of Jesus’ death:
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 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 (Matthew 27:51-53).
Why do we spend so little time pondering these three acts of God—the torn curtain, the earthquake, and the resurrections from the tombs? In Hebrews 10:19-20, the Scripture writer expanded on that image of the open curtain. Do you recall any lessons about the mini-resurrection that accompanied Jesus’ death? What about the timing of that earthquake? What does God want Christians to see in these unusual events?
Perhaps in the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross, God provided a reminder of the powerful work of life his Son accomplished—a work so potent it shook creation. It began reversing the impact sin had on physical, social, and spiritual connections. Perhaps Jesus’ death unleashed an explosion of life that impacted some in the nearby graves. If the death of Jesus transformed part of Jerusalem on Good Friday, imagine what will happen to the world when Jesus comes again!
At this time of Communion, take time to ponder the full spectrum of the work God accomplished at Golgotha. We eat the bread to remember that Jesus gave up his body for us. We drink from the cup to remember that life was restored in us through his blood, poured out on that hill.
Celebrate his grace. Contemplate his power. Look forward to his return.
Stuart Powell lives outside of Terre Haute, Indiana, where he serves with the North Side Christian Church.