"The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay’” (Matthew 28:5-6 NIV).
There is something about the Gospel that brings me to tears. The best possible tears imaginable. The concept that God himself sent His Only Son in the flesh for me and you is the most incredible love story. The Almighty and loving God came on a rescue mission for His people, and the thing is, He didn’t have to, but He chose to.
I’ve had non-believers ask me why’s it essential for me to follow Jesus or what sets Christianity apart from any other religion. I’ve consistently responded that Christianity is the only religion where our God comes to rescue us. People must work to gain acceptance or stature with their gods in all other religions. God indeed demonstrated His love for us at the cross.
As I said, it is the most extraordinary love story of all time. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to tear the veil from top to bottom to mend the chasm that sin caused. Matthew 27:50-52a (NIV) shows God made a statement in a literal and spiritual sense: “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment, the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split, and the tombs broke open.”
Back then, the temple veil was in the temple or place of worship. It separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. It was a forbidden and sacred space reserved for handpicked Jewish clergy.
The tearing of the veil symbolized a miraculous feat because the walls were estimated to be approximately four inches thick of solid brick and stone. Observers of this event had to be astounded and puzzled by the immense power exerted for this to happen. It also represented the sacrifice of Jesus’ life, and the shedding of his blood was a sufficient atonement for sins. It signified that now the way into the Holy of Holies was open for all people, for all time, both Jew and Gentile. God moved out of the temple never again to dwell in a temple made with human hands (Acts 17:24). Things happened just as Jesus predicted. The destroyed temple signified the end of the old covenant as the new covenant was being established by Christ’s death and resurrection.
I want to encourage us to meditate on Matthew 28: 5-6 this Easter and truly let the grace and mercy of God rest in our hearts. It declares, “The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know if you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.’” The very Son of God did exactly what He had said He would do all along- He rose from the dead, allowing us to walk into eternity with Him one day.
This Easter, we’re reminded of what it says in Matthew 28: 5-6. Jesus always keeps His promises. Let our prayer be that we walk boldly living out the Gospel each day, knowing that King Jesus has risen, and He is alive! Hallelujah!
Dear Lord, thank you that there is so much power in the name of Jesus. He changed my life, and I ask that he continues to work in my life and the lives of those I touch. I sit in thankful awe that I get to sit at the feet of Jesus daily. Thank you that Jesus’ death on the cross is the biggest rescue mission of ALL people, and it’s the most beautiful love story of all time. Amen.
Your turn: What does the Easter season represent to you? Do you have any unique traditions you practice in remembering Jesus’ sacrifice? We would love to hear from you.