The Earthquake – Part 3
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (Mat 27:51)
When Jesus cried in a loud voice and gave up His spirit into the hands of His Father, the veil in the temple ripped in half from top to bottom and there was a great earthquake. The mid-day three-hour darkness was gone. In Sunday school, we don’t dwell on earthquakes and the shaking of mountains. So, this part of the crucifixion of Jesus is easy to pass over as a light thunder before a summer shower. It was not that.
The following link highlights the greatest earthquakes of the Bible and it is worth the time to study it and file it where you can return and review it. http://www.icr.org/article/greatest-earthquakes-bible/
Today, we want to follow Nicholson’s lead and compare the earthquake at Calvary with the earthquake on Mt. Sinai. At the time of the earthquake on Mt. Calvary, several graves were opened and the people who were watching this drama play out, might have ignored the earthquake, and given attention to the opened graves. But, there’s no indication that they did that. The earthquake was so intense that it riveted attention on itself.
The earthquake at Calvary was echoing back to the earthquake at Mt. Sinai. The earthquake at Sinai was a message of the awesome power and holiness of God who was offended by the sins of a nation of people. At Sinai, the mountain quaked and the people quaked, not at the mountain but at the God who was on the mountain and with whom they had to do. On Mt. Sinai, it was dark and dreadful. On Mt. Calvary, the awesome darkness of three hours had been lifted in a halo of mercy just as Jesus proclaimed: “It is finished!” and ascended into Heaven to the bosom of His Father.
“On Sinai, God instituted the dispensation of Law, which brought out the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Human sin had existed before Mt. Sinai, but the utterances from Sinai brought it forth into prominence before men and stripping it of all disguises, made it appear as it really is—sin exceeding sinful, the blackness of darkness forever.” (Nicholson)
It is hard for us to think of ourselves as being bad people. We’re not perfect people, but not really bad people. It takes the help of God for us to compare ourselves with His perfect holiness. There were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the Mount, and the voice of the trumpet, exceeding loud; so that all the people of the camp trembled. Mount Sinai was altogether a smoke, because Jehovah descended upon it in fire, and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace.”
He made it clear to them that Jehovah was all-powerful and all-knowing and could not be persuaded to ignore what they truly were in His presence: hopelessly unfit to relate to such an one. “But, here at Mt. Calvary one had appeared on a cross to pay the price of human moral deficiency that we call sin. At last the darkness was gone and the suffering was ended.
The work was finished that made it possible for a holy God to be just and yet the Justifier of him who believeth on Jesus.” Now, there were the sweet mercies of Calvary. The shout of Calvary’s victory was heard instead of the trumpet sound of Sinai’s wrath. Mt. Calvary had absorbed into itself the fiery Mt. Sinai.
“Sinai, was the prophecy of the forth-coming Calvary. Calvary was the fulfillment of Sinai, satisfying its demands. As the earth had convulsed as it shook in pain on Mt. Sinai, even so, the earth had convulsed and had shaken in joy on Mt. Calvary. Calvary’s mercy is as powerful as Sinai’s vengeance. And meanwhile, from them both we are taught to say: “Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” If man’s redemption is as real as man’s sin, should not the earth feel its effect?” (Nicholson) Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
APRIL 25, 2017 – TUESDAY
A.M. 2 Sam 13-14 P.M. Luke 20:1-26
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Act 2:36)
Song for Today:
One Day (3:36) (Ladies Quartet) (Calvary Memorial Church)
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