What Jesus Did! 'No Barriers Allowed' — Matthew 27:51-53

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. Also, the earth shook and rocks were broken. All the graves opened, and many of God's people that had died were raised from death. Those people came out of the graves. After Jesus was raised from death, those people went into the holy city (Jerusalem), and many people saw them.
— Matthew 27:51-53
Illustration of Matthew 27:51-53 —  After Jesus was raised from death, those people went into the holy city (Jerusalem), and many people saw them.

Key Thought

There comes a time when God has to do something dramatic to help get it through people's hard heads and hard hearts that they just don't get it. Jesus came to fulfill all that Judaism was intended to mean. Jesus came to bring all the blessings that God had promised to bring. Jesus came to save all those who are willing to come to him and be saved. This is the dawning of a new age and a new covenant and the fulfillment of God's promises to his people. Jesus doesn't want barriers between people, especially racial ones and religious ones. He wants us to come to him and find unity in his Lordship.
The time is now. The Gospel must triumph so all people can come to feast at God's table and enjoy the blessings of his salvation.

Today's Prayer

Forgive me God, when I have let my own prejudices, narrow-mindedness, or hard heart block me from having active and ongoing fellowship with other believers. I know Jesus came and brought something fresh and new and that all peoples need it. Please help me see, and then act upon, those special moments of opportunity to bless others in Jesus' name and bring them closer to you! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

At noon the whole country became dark. This darkness continued for three hours. At about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" This means, "My God, my God, why have you left me alone?" Some of the people standing there heard this. The people said, "He is calling Elijah." Quickly one of the people ran and got a sponge. That person filled the sponge with vinegar and tied the sponge to a stick. Then he used the stick to give the sponge to Jesus to drink from it. But the other people said, "Don't bother him (Jesus). We want to see if Elijah will come to save him." Again Jesus cried with a loud voice. Then he died. When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. Also, the earth shook and rocks were broken. All the graves opened, and many of God's people that had died were raised from death. Those people came out of the graves. After Jesus was raised from death, those people went into the holy city (Jerusalem), and many people saw them. The army officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus saw this earthquake and everything that happened. They were very afraid and said, "He really was the Son of God!" Many women were standing away from the cross, watching. These were the women that followed Jesus from Galilee to care for him. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John were there.

Matthew 27:45-56

Related Scripture Readings

Remember that in the past you were without Christ. You were not citizens of Israel. And you did not have the agreements with the promise {that God made to his people}. You had no hope, and you did not know God. Yes, at one time you were far away {from God}. But now in Christ Jesus you are brought near to him. You are brought near {to God} through the blood (death) of Christ. Because of Christ we now have peace. Christ made us both (Jews and non-Jews) one people. The Jews and the non-Jews were separated like there was a wall between them. They hated each other. But Christ broke down that wall of hate by {giving} his own body. The Jewish law had many commands and rules. But Christ ended that law. Christ's purpose was to make the two groups of people (Jews and non-Jews) become one new people in him. By doing this Christ would make peace. Through the cross Christ ended the hate between the two groups. And after the two groups became one body, Christ wanted to bring them both back to God. Christ did this with his death on the cross. Christ came and preached peace to you people (non-Jews) who were far away {from God}. And he preached peace to the people (Jews) who were near {to God}. Yes, through Christ we all have the right to come to the Father in one Spirit.

Ephesians 2:12-18

Then I looked, and there were many, many people. There were so many people that a person could not count them all. They were from every nation, tribe, race of people, and language of the earth. These people were standing before the throne and before the Lamb (Jesus). They all wore white robes and had palm branches in their hands. They shouted with a loud voice, "Victory belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Revelation 7:9-10

I am proud of the Good News. The Good News is the power God uses to save every person that believes—to save the Jews first, and also to save the non-Jews.

Romans 1:16

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.