Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:45-46

It feels so right to me, that the sky became dark, because this was a dark, dark time. Have you ever felt so utterly, completely abandoned? Oh, it makes my heart ache. Horrible. Even worse than horrible. In fact, that is the definition of hell: being completely and eternally excluded from the presence of God. This exclusion from God's presence is the consequence of sin. Jesus, bearing the sins of the world, experienced this, on the cross, so that we would never, ever have to.

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. Matthew 27:50-51

Do you understand the significance of the temple curtain being torn? In the temple, the curtain separated the holy place from the most holy place. No one was allowed to go into the most holy place except for the priests, because that's where God was. In fact, the priests wore bells on their robes, and a rope was tied to their ankle, so just in case the priest died while he was in there, they could pull his body out without entering the space containing God's presence. The idea was, if they couldn't hear the bells tinkling anymore, the priest must not be moving, and must be dead. With the curtain torn in two, there is no longer a separation. Jesus made it possible for each of us to come directly into God's presence.

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 27:54

Surely, Jesus is the Son of God!

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