“Surely he was the Son of God!”

March 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
(Matthew 27:50-54 (NIV))

We are all familiar with the crucifixion account. We know that there were earthquakes. We know that the curtain of the temple was torn in two. We know that the centurion came to believe that Jesus was and is the Son of God. There is one thing in the account of the crucifixion that many overlook.

The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
(Matthew 27:52-53 (NIV))

Why do we overlook this? Why do we ignore one of the greatest resurrection accounts of what God has done? I know that our focus is on the death and resurrection of Jesus, but I find it extremely interesting that at the moment of His death, people arose out of their tombs.

Who were these people? Even before Jesus came into the world, people where longing for His coming. They believed even before Jesus physically walked the earth. They were looking at salvation through eyes that longed to see it. We look at salvation through eyes that have read it as it actually happened.

Why did they arise at Jesus’ death? That is an interesting question and I am probably going to open up some debate, but I believe that it is simply a matter of timing. Humanity has been given grace and mercy through the atoning blood of Jesus. Jesus had to die in order for our salvation to be redeemed. Those people who believed in Jesus before He walked the earth had to wait until He had fulfilled the plan of salvation. Once He breathed His last, the debt had been paid.

If we truly perceived the events that happened during the crucifixion, we would undoubtedly come to the same conclusion that the centurion came to. The sky grew dark, the earth shook, the rocks split, the holy people were raised from the dead and the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

I honestly don’t think that any script writer could come up with something as awe inspiring as what actually happened.

There is a saying that truth is stranger than fiction. There is also a famous line from a movie that states, “You can’t handle the truth!” I also find it interesting that people base their perception of the truth upon their limited understanding. They refuse to believe until they see. I have never seen a millions dollars, but I know that it exists. Perhaps that is the limit to the faith of some people. They can believe things that they have never seen only if they are of a physical nature.

I know that people believe when they see miracles. I also know that we are told that we need to have faith without seeing miracles. Still, it is my desire to see people who are not believers come to the same saving knowledge as the centurion.

“Surely he was the Son of God!”

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The greatest event of all eternity

September 10, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
(Revelation 7:9-10 (NIV))

I get chills every time I read this passage.

Close your eyes and let the Holy Spirit guide you. What do you see? Is it possible for human imagination to even come close to the majesty that this passage tries to describe?

Why would anyone deliberately do something to miss out on what will in all honesty be the biggest praise event of all time? All worldly, human efforts are nothing in comparison to what awaits those who are redeemed by the saving blood of Jesus.

Think about this for a moment.

What events do you like to take part in?

Sports? Music? Drama?

Now, I want you to remember the feelings that you had when everything went well. Did you feel elated and overjoyed? Did you feel so excited that you shouted praises? How long did that feeling last?

The ultimate elation and joy that we, as believers, can ever feel is in the presence of God. This is a God who loves us. This is a God who redeemed us. This is a God who claims us as His own. To put it in sports terms, each and every one of us are first round draft picks in the eyes of God. He offered us something that should cause us to be forever grateful and forever in praise of His name.

Think back to the most moving experience that you have ever had. As great as that experience was, just imagine how much greater it will be to be in the presence of God. When I close my eyes and try to envision this scene, I am filled with an overwhelming peace. I am filled with a reverence and an awe. Mostly, I am filled with a tremendous joy. Now I know why we cannot see God face to face in our earthly bodies. The joy would overwhelm us. The majesty would overwhelm us. God’s love would overwhelm us.

Perhaps that is why we need faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

If we saw it in our earthly state, we would not be able to handle it. Faith gives us the eyes to see what our imperfect bodies cannot handle. Faith allows us to see this glorious event from a fantastic perspective.

Are you ready for the greatest event of all eternity?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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