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Matthew 27:51-53

Lesson # Matt. 27:51-53
Study Material - Matt. 27:51-53

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Matt. 27:51-53

51 And [kai] , behold [idou] , the veil [katapetasma] of the temple [naos] was rent [schizo] in [eis] twain [duo] from [apo] the top [anothen] to [heos] the bottom [kato] ; and [kai] the earth [ge] did quake [seio] , and [kai] the rocks [petra] rent [schizo] ;
52 And [kai] the graves [mnemeion] were opened [anoigo] ; and [kai] many [polus] bodies [soma] of the saints [hagios] which [ho] slept [koimao] arose [egeiro] ,
53 And [kai] came [exerchomai] out of [ek] the graves [mnemeion] after [meta] his [autos] resurrection [egersis] , and went [eiserchomai] into [eis] the holy [hagios] city [polis] , and [kai] appeared [emphanizo] unto many [polus] . KJV-Interlinear

51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, 52 and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. NASB

Mark 15:38
38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. NASB

Luke 23:45
45 the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. NASB

In the Temple (see the chart of the Temple) there was an outer court, an inner court, then a tabernacle building with two rooms. The outer room was called the Holy Place. And then there was a second room, an inner room, called the Holy of Holies. These two rooms were separated by a huge, heavy, multi-layered, and beautifully ornate curtain or veil.

According to Josephus this massive curtain was predominantly blue and was ornately decorated. It was large and costly, some sixty feet high, and made of rich materials. tells us of one of the veils in the temple, that it was a Babylonian curtain, embroidered with linen in various colors, woven together with wonderful art, such as the eye loved to rest upon. Josephus ('Bell. Jud.,' 5:5. 4).

No one ever entered into the inner room, the Holy of Holies, except once per year. The High Priest only was allowed to enter in on the Day of Atonement, and there He would enter twice only, the first time to sprinkle blood on the mercy seat for himself, and then a second time to sprinkle blood for the people.

This one time ritual was to bring their attention to, and teach the principle of, the single and only sacrifice of the Messiah when He appeared on earth. The veil, or curtain, was placed to separate man from God. There existed a barrier, sin, which stood between God and man.

Now, on the day of the Crucifixion, there had to have been quite a stir in town, what with the crucifixion of Jesus, the one who had the reputation of healing all manner of ills. The one who raised the dead back to life. The one who would be the King of the Jews. This is the Feast of Passover, and the Feast of Unleaven Bread. The city is jammed full to overflowing with people, by the many tens of thousands and more, who have come from far and wide to participate in the sacrifices. The Temple would be full with folks, by the thousands, who had arrived there earlier in the day so that they would be ready for the afternoon sacrifices.

But now this day is like no other. Darkness took over the day, beginning at noon and that just ruined the days schedule for sacrifices. No light, no ritual activity. The rumor mill is working overtime because of all of these events.

Outside of town, up on a hill where people could see for miles around, hung Jesus, who at 3 p.m. or shortly thereafter, pushed himself forward and dispatched His soul and Spirit out from His body.

At that moment a extremely loud ripping sound filled the Temple, and all eyes would have turned toward the tabernacle as people witnessed the huge curtain ripping in half from top to bottom. That had to have been dramatic. I wonder just how many dropped to their knees in prayer and worship. Certainly all eyes were wide open. The darkness had no sooner turned back to daylight when this all happened.

Not only that, but the ground shook as an extremely powerful earthquake (worldwide), ripped through the planet. The foundations of planet earth were shaken. Huge rocks split. Fear and terror seized everyone who did not know what nor why these things were happening.

Graves were opened up and appearances of people who had died, were seen throughout the city and countryside. These were not resurrected people, but simply appearances or manifestations of those who had died, just as Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. The appearances did not last very long, possibly during the remainder of the day, of which there was only a couple of hours remaining.

These were only appearances and not resurrections. Jesus Christ is the first to be resurrected and that will not occur until the three day and three night period for His being in the grave, is completed.

Those people who had believed in the Savior, since the time of Adam, had been residing in the underworld compartment known as Paradise. There they remained imprisoned as it were, until the barrier between God and man had been removed. After His resurrection, Jesus Christ will lead all Old Testament believers out of Paradise (the old one), and take them, in a 'great victory procession,' Eph. 4:8, 2 Cor. 12:1-4, to a new paradise in heaven. There they currently remain until their own personal resurrection which will occur after the Second Advent.

The annual sacrifices in the Temple, for this year, were interrupted and never completed. Only one sacrifice was important, and that was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Once the reality of the one and only real sacrifice had been completed, then all sacrifices thereafter (after the Cross) should have been terminated. They were no longer necessary. Of course the priests continued with their rituals in defiance to the Cross, and only after 70 A.D. and the destruction of Jerusalem, did the sacrifices and feasts come to an end.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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