DOWN BUT NOT OUT! “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit,” (Matthew 27:50 NIV). The day Jesus was crucified on the cross at Calvary it was thought by most people who witnessed the events of that day that the life, ministry and hopes of Jesus were dead, finished, and completed. End of story. It is interesting that Matthew, in his gospel, follows the words of verse 50 with these words, “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people,” (Matthew 27:51-53 NIV). When Jesus died on the cross that day miraculous things happened to be sure but the greatest would appear in three days. To those who hated Jesus and did Satan’s bidding it appeared, to use a term of our day, that Jesus was “down for the count.” But in reality He was down but not out. A pause of three days would provide a glorious new chapter to the reality of His life and ministry on mankind’s behalf. One of the greatest truths of the bible is found in those words, “at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” That is a truth worthy of your study. In that moment the pathway to the presence of God without any human mediation became available through our mediator the Lord Jesus Christ.
The writer of the book of Hebrews put it this way, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is his body,’ (Hebrews 10;19-20 NIV). There is no longer a need for someone else to stand for us before God, like the High Priest did for the people of Israel, because Jesus through His blood has abolished that requirement and has opened our pathway directly to God the Father through Jesus the Son. We will get knocked down often in this life by Satan, people and circumstances but we are never “down for the count” if we remember what Jesus has done for us and we “come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8 NIV). Jesus is always in our corner and preparing us for the next round. Let us draw to Him and raise our voices to God