April 2018

....Up to this point, we have covered two of God’s Miracles; (1) The Darkness and (2) The rending of the veil. This time around we’ll be taking a look at two more of the 6 Miracles that took place on the day Christ was crucified ; The Miraculous Earthquake (3) and ; The Open Tombs (4). By the way, while we’re at it, we shouldn’t let ourselves get too flippant about the use of words like ‘miracle’ or ‘supernatural’, as if they were just another  day in the neighborhood –nothin’ special--- nothin’ worth getting’ all exercised about. I’m thinking that these may help us get a little bit of a handle on how God chooses to communicate His messages to a world full of lunk-heads, like you and me brother and sister. The adventure continues.                
            I think the best place to start here will be to re-visit God’s Word in Matthew 27:51,52 where it says,”…and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, and the tombs were opened; ….” Here is where we step into Miracle #3, the Miraculous earthquake. It is called ‘miraculous’ because it occurred at the exact moment of the death of Christ, right along with the ‘veil’ and the ‘ opened tombs’. What are the odds, hmmm? We’ve all heard it said that it’s all about the timing, right? Well, I’d say that every one of these events had God’s fingerprints all over them, and that His timing is never too early—and never too late---but always right on time! Does the word ‘supernatural’ come to mind; again? The Super (God Himself) paid a visit to the natural (Golgotha) at the site of the crucifixion and accomplished the Work only He could accomplish; at the perfect time, by the way. Now if we roll ahead just a bit, into Matthew 27:54, it tells us,” Now the centurion and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus,when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said,” Truly this was the Son of God!” Tell you what,… I don’t think for a minute that this was their first time in an earthquake. Yet, this battle-hardened Roman soldier, who was in charge of 100 or more trained and experienced soldiers, became “very frightened”. This great quake had to have been a whole ‘nother rodeo for this guy! Along with everything else that they were witnessing, it was enough to make him a believer on the spot! The quake was so massive that everything in sight was shakin’ and breakin’, but the cross of Christ didn’t budge. Imagine that. As all of this was going on, the Bible tells us in verse 52 that, “ ..and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep ( died) were raised;” Just in case you missed it, we just opened the door to our #4 Miracle, which is… guessed it, the ‘Opened Tombs’. Some folks have labeled this quake the ‘intelligent quake’ because it seemed as if the tombs to be opened were Hand picked. The hits just keep coming, don’t they! Soo…., who in the world are these ‘saints’ anyhow? I see all the hands going up, so we better hang for a bit and get a handle on who they are, and who they are not. I’m going to put my helmet on for awhile ‘cause I’ll probably be stepping on some toes here. A ‘saint is not, as some would have you believe, someone who has lived an “extraordinarily holy life”; and after his/her passing, is assumed to be in Heaven; and then elevated to the lofty position of ‘sainthood’ by a committee, somewhere. Really!? Now what does the Bible have to say about this? In Acts 9:13 it says,” But Ananias answered, “ Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to your saints at Jerusalem.” Also in Acts 9:32 it says,” Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.” The word ‘saint’ comes from the Greek word ‘hagios’, which means , “ Consecrated ( Set aside) to God, holy, sacred”. It is used more than 60 times in Scripture; in Acts 26:10, Philippians 4:21, and Romans 6:22 to name a few. Christians are called saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. They are believers, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with personal status, accomplishments, or whatever. So now that we understand who the saints were that were ‘raised’, we’d do well to remember that many of the tombs in those days were literally carved out of solid rock, then sealed up with more rock when all was said and done. Can you say ‘secure’?

            Here we stand now, with all these tombs opened up, with their tenants ‘raised’ and standing by, probably still wrapped in their grave clothes (strips of linen), and waiting for their marching orders. Wouldn’t you think that this had gotten everybody’s attention by now? While we’ve been going over all this, somehow or another, we’ve stampeded right on through #4 and sorta tiptoed into Miracle #5, the ‘ Raising of the Saints’. However, just like you’ve heard before……But wait…. There’s more!!! …On the “3rd Day”! Stay tuned.
            Meanwhile….check out what the prophet Daniel had to say in chap. .............7:13,14

                        I kept looking in the night visions,
                        And behold, with the clouds of Heaven,
                        One like a Son of Man was coming,
                        And He came up to the Ancient of Days
                        And was presented before Him.
                        And to Him was given dominion,
                        Glory and a kingdom,
                        That all the peoples, nations,
....................... and men of every language

                        Might serve Him.
                        His dominion is an everlasting dominion
                        Which will not pass away;
                        And His kingdom is one
                        Which will not be destroyed.

            WANTED -----MORE BIKERS IN HEAVEN !!

Dan Benson
Chaplain - CMA, NMRM Assn

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