Last Sunday, Pastor’s message was about the Pharisees and teachers wanting a sign from Jesus to “prove” who He was. They wanted another miracle, even though they had already seen Him do miracles. It was easier for them to have proof than faith. He said they were an adulterous and wicked generation and the only sign they would get was the sign of Jonah. Jonah was in the belly of a fish for 3 days, was spit out and lived. Jesus died, was in a grave for 3 days then lived. Jesus was speaking of the sign and miracle of His resurrection, which was the ultimate miracle and ultimate sign! The scripture for today... Matthew 27:45-53 The Message (MSG)
45-46 From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
47-49 Some bystanders who heard him said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” One of them ran and got a sponge soaked in sour wine and lifted it on a stick so he could drink. The others joked, “Don’t be in such a hurry. Let’s see if Elijah comes and saves him.”
50 But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last.
51-53 At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom. There was an earthquake, and rocks were split in pieces. What’s more, tombs were opened up, and many bodies of believers asleep in their graves were raised. (After Jesus’ resurrection, they left the tombs, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.)
The temple curtain torn in two, darkness covering the land in the middle of the afternoon, earth quakes and rocks splitting in half, tombs opening up and bodies coming out alive! I can’t imagine how I would be feeling if I were there, watching these signs happen. If I already trusted that Jesus was who He claimed to be, then these signs would be confirmation of that... if I hadn’t believed Him before, then surely these signs would convince me that He was God and Savior! Some did believe like the Centurion and guards that were terrified and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” But my mind really goes to the Pharisees and teachers (who gave Jesus a hard time) and what they thought as they witnessed these things. Did their hearts stay hardened to what was going on around them or did they admit their ignorance and cry out to God? There had to have been some on both sides of the fence.
So I’m thinking, how could one see all of these signs and still not believe? Have you ever been confronted with something you know is right, but because of your stubbornness, you put up a wall and refuse to see it? The more you want to be right (even though you’re wrong), the thicker your wall is to receive the truth? I’ve done that before... and it really is possible to have something right in front of you that you know is right or is true, and refuse to believe or refuse to do anything about it - all because of stubbornness or pride or desire. So how close am I to being like one of those Pharisees? I can easily read about their unbelief, hard hearts, and stubbornness, and say, “They are horrible! I could never do that...could never reject Jesus like that”.... but keeping in mind that I’m very vulnerable to that same stubbornness and the thick walls, I need to say, “please Jesus, remove my pride and help me to see the truth!”
I don’t need a sign to know that Jesus is real and to know who He is... but sometimes like the Pharisees, I want to see a sign anyway. I want Him to prove to me that He’s here.... I want a miracle - as if waking up every day isn’t miracle enough! As if having clothes and food everyday isn’t enough! As if having a relationship with Him and having His Spirit live inside of me isn’t enough! I can see a sign of Him every moment if I’m only willing to lay down my pride and stubbornness and receive the truth!
Lord, forgive me for my unbelief and my demand for signs. The ultimate sign - Your resurrection - has been accomplished.... You give signs and do miracles according your plans, not my demands! And still, you are so generous with them...thank you Lord, I love you...
I would love to hear what God brought to your heart today. Denise