Focus314 Church

Day 19- The new covenant through Jesus

Read it: Matthew 27:45-54

Live it:

Yesterday, we ended with Jesus crying out and giving up his spirit, fulfilling the new covenant that we have today. What happens next is truly amazing: darkness descended on the entire earth, people were raised from the dead, and a giant earthquake shook the land. It is also noted in our scripture reading today that a curtain was torn from top to bottom.

We are going to focus on two things from the text today:
The darkness that descended the earth
The curtain being torn the moment Jesus died

Why choose to focus on the curtain and the darkness and not focus on the earthquake and people being raised from the dead and the entire earth going dark? The biblical scholar, Dr. Rick Renner highlighted the fact that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all document the darkness that fell over the entire land during Jesus’ crucifixion. The greek word ginomai was used, which describes an event that slowly crept up on them before they knew what was happening.

The event was all encompassing, and the darkness covered the entire land. It was not just confined to a specific region. Historians like Phlegon, Thaddeus, and Julius Africanus also confirm this global darkness event. Dr. Renner goes on to mention that the time the darkness covered the land was the exact time as the high priest Caiaphas’s ritual for the Passover lamb. The darkness lasted until the ninth hour, corresponding to the moment when Caiaphas would pass through the veil and enter the Holy of Holies. Jesus’ last words, “It is finished,” coincided with this event, signifying the completion of His mission and the fulfillment of the covenant.

Following Jesus’ death, the temple veil tore from top to bottom. Matthew described the event using the Greek word idou, which means behold. It is a very difficult word to translate as it’s a word that carries intense emotion; it could be translated to “Wow!”

This was truly a wow moment because Jesus’ sacrifice eliminated the need for repeated offerings, granting believers direct access to God. The Holy of Holies, previously restricted to the high priest, is now accessible to everyone through Jesus’ blood. This access empowers believers to approach God boldly and find grace and mercy in times of need.

The tearing of the veil was not easy. Some scholars have theorized that it took 300 priests to carry the veil. That was one heavy veil. But, God tore the veil between him and us. From that moment on, it no longer takes a priest to enter God’s presence on our behalf; it no longer takes someone to enter a covenant on our behalf.

While God has removed his veil, have you removed yours? Maybe you don’t want to be fully known. Maybe you don’t feel like you are worthy of entering his presence. Be brave enough to tear down your veil and be a living sacrifice.

Ask yourself the same question that I encouraged you to ask yourself the past two days: how are you going to respond?

Ps. James

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