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Read Matthew 27:51-53.

TEXT: And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two,
from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were
split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the
saints who had fallen asleep were raised (Matthew 27:51-52).

During the early hours of Jesus' crucifixion, it was easy for
the Jewish people streaming into town to conclude He had
been a fraud and a fake. To all appearances His claim to be
God's Son had finally caught up with Him because God had
cursed Him and permitted that horrible death. They interpreted
all the evidence they had seen as proof of Jesus' guilt.

Then came the supernatural miracles that accompanied His
crucifixion and death. First, was the three hours of ominous,
supernatural darkness. Then at Jesus' death a great earthquake
struck the city, splitting the rocks apart. The Jewish religious
leaders got a sign of their own-the curtain separating the Holy
Place from the Most Holy Place in the temple was torn in two
from top to bottom. Finally, the earthquake broke tombs open
and many dead saints came to life, appearing in the city to
others after Jesus' resurrection.

After seeing all these events the centurion and his soldiers said,
"Truly this was the Son of God!" Luke notes the reaction of the
crowds that stood there witnessing these things, "And all the
crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw
what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts"
(Luke 23:48). Beating one's breast was a demonstration of
profound grief, fear and regret.

These miracles didn't convince everyone, but they were powerful
signs that God's Son was sacrificing Himself for our sins. A
miracle even more clear was coming in three short days.


Heavenly Father, thank You for the signs that accompanied
Your Son's suffering and death and for His resurrection, which
proved You accepted His sacrifice. Give us confidence in Your
forgiveness. For Jesus' sake. Amen.

(Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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