Two Veils and a Pile of Rocks

“From noon to three darkness came over the land…..At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two”

(Matthew 27:45,51)

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was filled with miracles – ominous miracles.  Three of them stand out in stark comparison.  These are the darkness that came over the land, the curtain in the temple that was torn in two, and the rocks that were torn to pieces.

Let’s tackle the veil of darkness first.  Some have tried to explain away this miracle by saying that what happened was an eclipse of the sun.  This is impossible however, because as I have stated in an earlier blog, Jesus Christ’s death occurred at Passover, the time of the full moon.  The Greek language tells us that this darkness was especially dark and covered (blanketed, veiled) the entire earth.  Farther than the human eye could see from Jerusalem.  We are also told that the darkness came over the land at the sixth hour.  That is something very significant, for it was at that very hour that the high priest, Caiaphas, arrayed in his full priestly garments, began his procession to the Temple to slaughter a pure, spotless Passover lamb.  Scripture then tells us that this darkness lasted until the ninth hour.  That presents more great interest.  The ninth hour was the exact moment the high priest made his entrance into the Holy of Holies to offer the blood of the Passover lamb.  But of even greater importance is that scripture tells us that was also the precise moment that our Savior heaved upward for breath one last time on the cross and cried out, “It is finished.”   Hence, the first miracle, the veiling of the entire earth in darkness was complete.

But there was another veil that brought another amazing miracle.  That veil was in the temple itself.  Matthew 27 tells us that after Christ cried “it is finished,” he “yielded up the ghost” and “The veil of the temple was torn in two.”   The Greek language tells us that this event was an amazing wonder.  Almost as if to say to us, “wait until you hear this!”  The veil Matthew is referring to is the veil that hung at the entrance to the Holy of Holies.  Now we’re not talking about your living room drapes here.  This veil was 60 feet high, 30 feet wide, and four feet thick.  It was so heavy that it took three hundred priests to move or manipulate it.  That’s right – 300!  At the exact moment Jesus Christ breathed his last breath on the cross, at the exact moment Caiphas was standing in front of the altar ready to offer the blood of the Passover lamb, this massive veil suddenly split in half from the top way down to the bottom.  The sound of that must have been deafening, as almighty God shred it in two.  Why would God want to get rid of the veil?  Because Jesus Christ’s death was the ultimate sacrifice for sin and there was no longer a need for a high priest, a mercy seat, or a yearly sacrifice.  Jesus was all of that!  Hence, the second miracle of the second veil was complete.

And what about those rocks?  At the precise moment of Christ’s death, we are told that, “the earth shook, and the rocks split.”  The Greek language again clarifies what happened to the rocks.  These were not simply cracks in a couple of rocks.  These rocks violently tore into pieces.  In fact, the Greek word used for the rocks splitting, is where we get our word seismograph, the apparatus that registers the intensity of an earthquake.  Following this, the third miracle of the rocks was complete.  So, as Israel rejected Jesus and the Roman authorities crucified him, God’s power and creation were miraculously worshiping him.  Don’t you just love it!!!

As our thoughts draw closer to Christ’s death on the cross, let us do as the veiling of the earth and the renting of the veil did.  And let us remember why the rocks on the ground split into pieces.  They were worshiping the Savior of the world.  May we spend these next couple of weeks with our hearts focused on worshiping Jesus Christ!