Five Supernatural Signs:
- Day Darkened
- Curtain Torn
- Earth Quaked
- Graves Opened
- Centurion Saved
There are some wonderful elements we need to explore in relation to Christ’s death for our salvation. Christ DIED for our sins according to the Scriptures.
- HE DIED on The Exact Place – On Golgotha in Moriah
- HE DIED in The Exact Event – A Prophesied Crucifixion
- HE DIED at The Exact Moment – As the Passover Lamb
- HE DIED with The Exact Confirmation – With Five Mighty Miracles
When Christ hung on that cross of wood for you and for me, God confirmed Who He really was by five mighty miracles from Calvary.
- Jesus was the Light of the World – so God the Father stopped the light of the Sun.
- Jesus was the New and Living Way to God – so God the Father tore the Temple Curtain open.
- Jesus was the Creator of the Universe – so God the Father had the Rocks cry out declaring His Praises.
- Jesus was the Resurrection and the Life – so God the Father touched the Graves and brought forth from the dead saints who had died in faith.
- Jesus was the Lamb of God dying for the sin of the World – so God reached down and touched the heart of the Centurion at the foot of the Cross.
FIRST, since Jesus was the Light of the World – God the Father stopped the light of the Sun.
Matthew 27:45 now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. (KJV)
In Genesis the First thing Jesus did at Creation was to “Let there be Light” – The Work of Creation was done in the LIGHT. But from the Cross He reached up and snuffed out the Light, because the work of Redemption was so horribly costly it had to be done in the Dark. God let no one see the turning of His back upon the Son!
At His birth He put a new star in the sky; at His death He snuffed out of the sky our brightest star. What a mighty miracle, what a sign to mankind that they were murdering their Maker. So He reached up and touched the Sun. . .
Second, because Jesus was the New and Living Way to God – God the Father tore the Temple Curtain open.
Matthew 27:51 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; (KJV)
On the day Christ died can you imagine the scene those officiating priests must have beheld? They came in to trim the lamps, pour a handful of incense over the fire on the altar and change the bread on the Table. Then perhaps at that very moment Christ touched the Veil.
With an unearthly sound that massive curtain was violently torn from top to bottom. Aghast, as for the first time in nearly 1,500 years common people looked upon the ark and the mercy seat and God’s throne of grace and mercy. As God said ANYONE WHO WISHES MAY COME NOW. YOU ARE WELCOME ANYTIME.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)
Aren’t you glad we live on this side of Calvary? He reached up and touched the Sun; He reached over and touched the Temple . . .
Thirdly, because Jesus was the Creator of the Universe – God the Father had the Rocks cry out declaring His Praises.
Matthew 27:51 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; (KJV)
At the Palm Sunday Triumphal entry Jesus said to those criticizing the shouts of Hosanna:
Luke 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (KJV)
Here at Calvary, the greatest moment in History and now no one would cry out His glory. Only days before thousands and tens of thousands thronged Him crying HOSANNA, and treated Him as a King. But now no one raised a voice in protest of this crime, except one dying thief.
So since no one else will speak up God picked –
- A dying thief to seek Him as Jesus the Savior, and cry out REMEMBER ME.
- A pagan Roman Governor to place over His head the declaration He was the Messiah, Christ.
- A calloused soldier at the foot of the Cross to confess Him as Lord, the very Son of God.
- And He reached down and touched the rocks, and they convulsed – CRYING OUT THEIR WORSHIP OF THEIR MAKER.
Fourthly, because Jesus was the Resurrection and the Life – God the Father touched the Graves and brought forth from the dead saints who had died in faith.
Matthew 27:52-53 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (KJV)
Jesus had said some pretty big statements in His ministry. He had made some absolute promises that needed confirmation. The biggest were about life and death and the power of the Grave. Remember hat He had said? There were seven “nevers” (complete set):
- John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
- John 8:51-52 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” 52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’
- John 10:28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
- John 11:26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
So how would the Lord assure the many who believed on Jesus? They were about the plunge into one of the most intense times of persecution of all times until the end of days. Look back again at v. 52-53. Note in your Bibles the word MANY. Many saints’ dead only hours or buried centuries ago, in graves around Israel were touched from the Cross by Jesus.
After that great earthquake as people began to go out to survey the damage they noticed something strange. All over Israel from Dan to Beersheba, north to south, top to bottom – graves were popped open. Perhaps they could see bodies or just bones turning to dust. But Jesus had touched the graves.
And then on Sunday morning they started to come out of the graves in resurrection bodies and march toward Jerusalem.
Can you imagine the uncanny meetings that took place? Out in a field near the cave of Machpelah a farmer was working his field on Sunday morning when he met a man walking out of the cave “Hello” said the stranger. “Hello, do I know you?” said the farmer. “I am Father Abraham, formerly of Ur, most recently from the happy side of Hades . . .”
And just like that all over Israel MANY graves opened, many saints raised, many saints set their faces toward Jerusalem. Can you imagine as people ran into Elisha, Joseph and Isaac. Spoke with Jacob, David and Samuel? What a commotion it must have been as the first fruits of the resurrection of Christ gathered in the Holy City. Why do you think the city turned out to hear Peter?
Those saints did not appear in Jerusalem until after the Lord’s own resurrection, because He was divinely appointed to be “the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). And just as Christ Himself appeared after His resurrection only to those who already believed in Him, it would also seem that the many to whom the resurrected saints appeared were all believers. We are not told what they said to their brethren in the holy city, but their appearance in bodily form not only testified to Christ’s resurrection but also to God’s promise to raise all those who put their trust in Christ (1 Cor. 15:22, 51–53).
Through those six miracles the Father was saying that the cross is the only hope for eternal life. When one’s sin is carried away by Christ’s atoning death, the wrath of God is appeased for that believer, and he is delivered from the death and condemnation that the Lord endured on his behalf. For those who believe in the Son, access to God is open wide, and they are assured of living in His eternal and indestructible kingdom in eternal and indestructible bodies. 
When Paul was preaching to Agrippa, do you remember what he said? It is amazing when you blend in this passage with the events at the Cross.
Acts 26:26-27 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. (KJV)
So MANY were raised and many came to be witnesses of the miracle of Calvary.
Do you have hope beyond the grave? Are you resting in the reality that this life is only a shadow, and the best is still ahead? Have you declared that lately? Why don’t we do that together as we sing “Jesus Lives” # 224 (to the tune of Holy God, we Praise Thee # 12).
Then across the page to #225 to the tune of #131.
So He reached up and touched the Sun, He reached over and touched the Temple, He reached down and touched the Rocks, He reached under and touched the Graves and . . .
FINALLY, because Jesus was the Lamb of God dying for the sin of the World – God reached down and touched the heart of the Centurion at the foot of the Cross.
Matthew 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (KJV
A centurion was trained never to fear. As the most trusted of the soldiers of Caesar’s Legions, these were the men who looked death in the face unflinchingly. They would lock their mighty shields in battle and March against countless foes and never fear. Have you ever paused to think about this scene? What amazing events these must have been to make a tough, calloused and hardened centurion to FEAR GREATLY.
This soldier had been born somewhere in the Empire. Perhaps his father was a legionnaire. He listened to the stories as he grew up about the wonders of Ancient Rome. It nobles, temples, virtues and fearless legionnaires. As he grew perhaps his father took him to the Holidays and at an arena he saw gladiators fighting to the death and mighty horse and chariot races.
Then he chose to become one of Caesar’s finest and the barracks became his home. He was taught to discipline his body, to obey orders and to fight without fear. He learned to kill, to drink and to curse by the gods. He was calloused and hard. A SOLDIER OF ROME. As he distinguished himself in his duties he rose to become a leader of a hundred, a Centurion.
One day on the bulletin board of his barracks and notice was posted dispatching him to the most despised corner of the Empire – Palestine. But not the lovely coastal port of Roman Caesarea, no of all places on earth he was being sent to Jerusalem. A city seething with religious fanaticism and zealots and ready to explode at any moment. A place where Rome was not respected nor obeyed. He served Caesar in Jerusalem.
One morning the Roman Governor Pilate summoned him to his palace. “Take these three and crucify them and report back when they are dead.” Who were they? It didn’t matter. 30,000 had already been crucified. It was just a job. One of them thought he was some kind of a King. Well we will show Him what Rome thinks of rival kings.
But now its 3 PM, and listen to the record God gave us of what happened:
Matthew 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 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; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
- So God the Father Confirmed who Christ really was hanging upon that Cross as He reached up and touched the Sun,
- And God the Father Confirmed who Christ really was hanging upon that Cross as He reached over and touched the Temple,
- And God the Father Confirmed who Christ really was hanging upon that Cross as He reached down and touched the Rocks,
- And God the Father Confirmed who Christ really was hanging upon that Cross as He reached under and touched the Graves
- And finally — And God the Father Confirmed who Christ really was hanging upon that Cross as He reached in and touched the Centurions heart!
THAT IS THE GREATEST MIRACLE OF ALL BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONE HE IS STILL DOING!
I have often wondered what it was like when he went home after this tour of duty. People came up to him and said you are different. What happened? I can hear him say:
I met a man at a place called Calvary.
He was dying on a cross of wood.
That man was GOD.
And that God changed my life!
Hallelujah what a Savior!