April 9. 2023

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, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Soni of God!” – Matthew 27: 51-54 ESV


There are over 4000 religions in the world, but there is only 1 EMPTY TOMB! God is a drama king.  The more DRAMA, the more GLORY. He Has many reasons for what He does, and who is man that we should know but a few. He is the OMNI GOD.  Omni means ALL, of all things. From latin omnis, meaning ALL.  Jehovah, Yahweh, Adonai, El Shaddai, El Elyon, El, maybe Abba, Pappa, Daddy- look at ALL the proper names for our Heavenly Father- He is the GREAT I AM. God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.  In other words, He is ALL knowing, ALL present and ALL powerful.  He is also omni-purposive, ALL purposes. “The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom”. Such a simple sentence and then we move on.  We need to stop and consider this cataclysmic shift in our relationship with the creator of the universe, the great I AM! The temple curtain or veil was created as a barrier between the Most Holy Place and the rest of the temple. It was “woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim” (Exodus 26:31). In essence, the temple curtain was a wall used to protect God, from man- from those who were deemed not worthy of His presence. UP UNTIL NOW!  However, when JESUS ROSE, everything changed. 

Leader, the wall that kept sinful men from the presence of the HOLY GOD, was a massive VEIL. There is much lore about this Curtain, or Veil. It is said that Solomon’s temple was 30 cubits high (1 Kings 6:2), but Herod had increased the height to 40 cubits, according to the writings of Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian. The veil was somewhere near 60 feet high! Jewish tradition says this: “The thickness of the veil [of the Temple] was a handbreadth. It was woven of seventy-two cords, each cord consisting of twenty-four strands. Its length was forty cubits, by twenty in width. It was made by eighty-two myriads of damsels, and two such veils were made every year. It took three hundred priests to immerse and cleanse it [if it becomes unclean].” Now here is the ‘WOW’ moment. The curtain was RIPPED, it was TORN…from the TOP DOWN. Have you ever seen a ‘strongman’ tear a phonebook in half? Our God used HIS HANDS and TORE DOWN the barrier between HIM and US! The way into the Holy of Holies, into the presence of Yahweh, was now open to ALL; Jew and Gentile, Freeman and Bondslave, Rich and Poor…. This is why resurrection matters. There are over 4000 religions in the world, but there is only 1 EMPTY TOMB!

Conduit, it is ‘WHAT’ we celebrate during this holiday, deemed Easter, that matters. We are commemorating the risen Christ. If Jesus was not resurrected, then Christmas is nothing more than another pagan holiday. It is the resurrection of Jesus that is the cornerstone of our faith. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. (1 Corinthians 15:13-15) Let me give you 5 reasons to BELIEVE, HE IS RISEN. 1- non-biblical sources confirm the existence and death of Jesus of Nazareth. 2- News of Jesus’ resurrection went viral, so fast- it cannot be a ‘legend’. 3- The TOMB IS EMPTY. 4- Multiple eyewitness accounts of people seeing Jesus alive after His death, including over 500 at one time! 5- Those that walked with Him, were willing to DIE FOR HIM! Would you give your life for a lie? Most wouldn’t give it for the TRUTH! Jesus’ own brothers thought he was crazy, now they DIED, rather than deny His deity! Hear the Word of the Lord; One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said. (Mark 3:20-21) Church tradition tells us that James; Jesus’ half-brother, was martyred as the first leader of the Jerusalem church. He refused to deny the name of Jesus and was thrown, then ‘clubbed’ to his death. Judas, or Jude, also died a martyr’s death. Tradition tells us he was clubbed to death and his head was then shattered with a broad axe. Jude identifies himself in his epistle in two ways: SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST”, and brother of James. Jude, nor James in their introductions, DID NOT feel worthy to claim kinship with Jesus. Why do I believe in the resurrection of Jesus beyond, “because the Bible says so”- because they believed it! There are over 4000 religions in the world, but there is only 1 EMPTY TOMB! He is risen!


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