What Does the Cross of Jesus Mean to Us?

We know a great miracle occurred when Jesus took upon Himself the sin of the whole world. Matthew 27:45-54 mentions as many as five miracles of the cross.

The Sun Turns to Darkness

“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. Jesus cried out in a loud voice… ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Mt. 27:45). In that agonizing moment on the cross, Jesus bore the sins of the world. Isaiah 53:4 says he was “smitten by God, and afflicted.” The wrath of God was poured out for the sin of the world. When Jesus was born, the night sky in Bethlehem was filled with supernatural light. The glory of the Lord shone around the Shepherds. The Wise Men saw His star. But when Jesus died at noon when the sun is shining brightest, the earth was covered with miraculous darkness that lasted for three hours. The darkness at the cross announced, “This is a Divine moment! Don’t miss it!” If your way seems dark right now, don’t despair! God may be getting ready to make an announcement about your life! Darkness often comes before Divine moments.

The Splitting of the Temple Veil

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mt. 27:50-51). The temple would have had two curtains or veils—one separating the outer court from the Gentiles and another separating the inner court from the Holy of Holies. The veil reminded the people that there was a barrier between sinful humanity and Holy God. Sin is our barrier, but at the tearing of Christ’s flesh on the cross, the temple veil miraculously tore apart, symbolizing the removal of the barrier. Salvation is God’s idea, not our idea. God, from Heaven, ripped down the curtain. God invites all to be saved. The temple veil being torn dramatically announces that access to God is open to all. Don’t let your sins keep you away.

The Shaking of the Earth

“The earth shook, the rocks split” (Mt. 27:51). When we collaborate the accounts from Matthew and Luke, we find an interesting detail. Luke 19:40 says, “He answered, ‘I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out.’” At the cross, Judas betrayed Jesus. Peter denied Jesus. In one way or another, they all were silent. So, what was the response? Matthew tells us that the stones cried out! The earthquake and the splitting of the rocks were the prophetic fulfillment of Jesus’ words recorded in Luke 19. Jesus is worthy to be praised because of the cross. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain! Paul said, “I will glory in the cross!” The earthquake establishes that Jesus will be praised. Jesus will always be praised. The whole world may fall silent, but His name will be praised forever.

The Saints are Raised

“The tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life” (Mt. 27:52). What was God saying through the resurrection of these saints? Who were these people? Though we do not have the answer, we can be certain about a few things. First, these bodies literally came to life. Second, the resurrection of these saints emphasizes the importance of what took place on the cross. Everything in the world was affected by the death of Jesus. This miracle points us to the unlimited power of God and the ultimate purpose of God. The people mocked Jesus. Jesus did not answer them until the tombs came open. Just because God is silent does not mean that He is not working. Maybe the silence of God seems too much for you right now? Do not lose heart. God may be about to speak!

The Salvation of the Soldiers

“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” (Mt. 27:54). These soldiers were just doing a job. They had presided over countless other crucifixions and had no emotional attachment to Jesus whatsoever. That’s what makes this confession so amazing. When confronted with what they saw and heard, they had no other choice but to exclaim, “Surely, this was the son of God.” The works of God and the words of Jesus caused the soldiers to make their confession. Jesus said to one of the criminals, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” This is the greatest miracle of all.

Think about these miracles for a moment: Jesus touched the sun, and darkness came on the land. Jesus touched the temple, and the veil was torn. Jesus touched the earth, and the rocks split apart. Jesus touched the graves, and the saints were raised. Jesus touched the soldiers, and they were saved. There is no past too problematic, no heart too hard, no sin too shameful that God cannot forgive. The cross demands a decision. Just as the cross demanded a response from the soldiers, the cross demands and deserves a response from us. Will you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior?


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