Calvary Miracles

Jerry A. Collins

 

®       What were the Easter miracles?

®       What is the significance of these miracles?

®       What do they teach us about Christís person and work?

 

Surrounding Christís death on the cross, is a chain of miraculous events that authenticate at least three things.(1) The uniqueness of Jesus Christ is revealed through this chain of miraculous activity.(2)Jesus claims as the Son of God are clarified through these miraculous events.(3)Salvation is available because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.Each miracle of Calvary teach us a unique aspect of the person and work of Jesus Christ and linked togetherthey form an unbreakable chain of evidence that authenticates and declares Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.

 

So what are these miracles and what do they teach and tell us?Matthew 27:45-53 provides the setting for each of these miracles.They include the following:

 

®       The darkness over the land

®       The tearing of the temple veil

®       The shaking of earth;rocks splitting

®       The opening of tombs

®       The raising of many saints who died

The Miraculous Darkness

The darkness is from 12 noon until 3pm vs. 45.Darkness is referred to over 160 times in the Bible.It is significant that the first act of God in Genesis was the removal of darkness by the creation of light.It was now noon, the sun is high in the sky--and suddenly total, dismal darkness falls over the land.The word Ďfellí means Ďto happen, to come to beí and suggests the suddenness of this.The darkness was sudden, not gradual.It was just like someone had turned the lights out not just in the room butthroughout all of the land.What caused this darkness?(1)Some suggests it was an eclipse.But this darkness occurred suddenly and lasted for three hours.(2) Others suggests a natural phenomena like darkness associated with an earthquake or volcanic eruption.But again it had come suddenly.(3)The best answer would be an act of God.God the creator who placed the planets in orbit intervened in nature with this miracle.Darkness here is a fitting symbolic act of God using darkness as a vehicle to express certain truth to sinful man (Ex 10:21-22).

 

(1)Jesus became a sin-offering for the world.At this point Jesus was bearing our sin on Himself as our substitute.2 Corinthians 5:21 ĎHe made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf...톆 During this darkness a divine exchange is taking place.Jesus was taking on Himself the sin of the world.He was receiving the penalty and punishment of sin.The wrath of God the Father was being unleashed on Godís Son.

(2)Christ was forsaken by His Father.While Christ is becoming a sacrifice for sin, the Father forsakes His Son and in some significant way there is a separation from the Father He had never known before.For three hours the darkness spoke of Christ separated from God by the sin of the world and punished for us as He took our sin upon Himself.

(3)Christ was satisfying Gods wrath toward sin.Romans 5:25 says ĎGod publicly displayed Him as a satisfaction for sin by His blood...íJesus was becoming the place where His sacrifice completely satisfied Gods demands against sinful people, thus averting His wrath from those who believe.Jesus did what Ďis impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sinsí Hebrews 10:4.

 

The cry of Christ in vs. 46 could be the exact moment when our sin was placed upon Christ or a cry for deliverance that could no longer endure our sin and the separation from His father.In vs. 50 Jesus cries out and commits His Spirit into Gods hands.In other words, because of these dark hours, our salvation was made possible once and for all.Mission accomplished.John 12:46 Jesus said ďI have come as light into the world that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness

 

Our sin put Christ on the cross and made His sacrifice necessary.Every violation of Gods character made the cross necessary.When you gossip, lie, pride, hate, immoral, indifferent, unloving, disobedient, unfaithfulness and rebellion.The dark hours was the time Christ bore the iniquity of us all.We are all guilty of putting Christ in position as our sacrifice and substitute.He laid His life down for us no one took it from Him.The darkness was necessary before the light could come! Jesus was the only person ever qualified to die for our sin.

The Torn Veil

Immediately after the death of Christ, the temple veil was torn in half.Christís death suddenly ripped in half this 19 ft high, 60 ft wide and thickness of a mans hand veil.This veil was a concealment and a barrier between the holy place and the Holy of Holies in the Temple.It spoke of a barrier that separates man from God because of mans sin.In the Old Testament it showed the way into Godís presence was not yet open Hebrews 9:2-3.No one was allowed into the Holy of Holies behind this veil except the high priest, and he was only allowed once a year on the national Day of Atonement.Each year on this day the high priest would enter through the veil with blood and incense.(1) This spoke of Jesus Christ, who through death, opened the way into Godís presence Hebrews 10:20.When the veil was torn from top to bottom, Christís death made it possible for every man to know have fellowship with God.(2)It also spoke of Christ as the new barrier now between man and God, since there can be no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ.Christís sacrifice is the final and sufficient means to a relationship with God the Father.The torn veil signified that Christ was the fulfillment of all Old Testament types andpictures.No other form of human works, law, or system of religion is needed to open access into Godís presence.John 14:6 Jesus says ďI am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the father but through MeďAnd there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be savedĒ Acts 4:12.(3)The Old Testament Law has been done away with by the work of Christ on the cross.It nullified any kind of elite and selective priesthood system and made every believer a priest before God with perfect access to Him through faith in Christ Hebrews 10:1-9.So, it means that Christís work is a work of God, sufficient and complete, and no human religious system is necessary or able to accomplish what Christ has done.

(1)We have complete confidence in Christ as only way of salvation.The object of our faith makes all the difference.

(2)We are fully accepted by God in Christ.He declares us as acceptable to Him on the basis of His Sons work, when we believe.Our acceptability is not dependent on our behavior or works.When we believe we never have to worry about Gods acceptance.

Earth And Rocks††

Creation itself testifies to Christ death.The other time God caused the earth to quake was at Mt. Sanai at the giving of the Law Exodus 19:16ff.There it stood for absolute holiness of God and warned the people not to approach God apart from the sacrifices the Law required which all pointed to the person and work of Christ in Gods program.This law provided no power to break out of the clutches of sinand death.It only revealed the sinfulness of the heart.But at death of Christ, the quaking of the earth was Godís answer to Mt. Sanai and the Law.Sanai quaking stood for the barrier between God and man; sin separating us from God.Calvary quaking stood for Gods love and grace through death of Christ satisfying Gods holy demands and the reconciliation we now have with God.

The Opened Tombs

The opened tombs were a further effect of the death of Christ.Since the power of sin is death, the death of Christ, having paid for the penalty of our sin, has removed the cause of death.1 Corinthians 15:56 says Ďthe sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christí.By sin death gains power over man.Christ by His death paid the penalty of sin, removing its stinger and satisfying the demands of the law and the holiness of God Romans 5:18-19.(Bee illustration)The graves and tombs were opened on Friday afternoon and stood as a testimony to the miraculous effect of Christís death until Sunday.

Resurrection of Saints

The bodies in these tombs were raised when Christ was resurrected.these people returned to Jerusalem where they were recognized by friends and family.Like Lazarus (John 11:43-44), Jarius daughter (Luke 8:52-56), widow of Nainís son (Luke 7:13-15), they too passed through physical death again.This would have caused quite a stir in the area.Christ is the resurrection and the life.He is the One who broke the power of sin and death.These 5 miracles are proof.

1.God loves you.

2.God provided for you.

3.God delivers you.Believe!