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

Monday, December 20, 2021

At [the moment when Jesus died,] the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus' resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
— Matthew 27:51-53 NLT

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.

Jesus' life and death bring the dawning of a new age and a new covenant and the fulfillment of God's promises to his people. Jesus doesn't want any 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 Good News must triumph so all people can come to feast at God's table and enjoy the blessings of his salvation.

* The curtain in the Temple was between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, just as it was in the Tabernacle. The priests performed their religious duties in the Holy Place but only the High Priest could go into the Most Holy Place and only once a year to offer a sacrifice (Hebrews 9:1-3, 6-7). Jews considered that God's presence was in the Most Holy Place (Leviticus 16:2), so the tearing of the curtain has immense importance signifying that the barrier between us and God is now gone (Hebrews 10:19-20), and God also wants all barriers between people to be gone (Galatians 3:28).

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 on, those special moments of opportunity to bless others in Jesus' name and bring them closer to you! In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 2:12-18
  • Revelation 7:9-10
  • Romans 1:16


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Illustration of Matthew 27:51-53 NLT —  They left the cemetery after Jesus' resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.