The American Wisdom Series

Matthew #2572

Our flesh eyes cannot see things that are spiritual because those things are invisible to our physical sight. To compensate God shows us physical examples that we can relate to and help us understand spiritual realities.

The incredible events that transpired just before, during, and after the crucifixion not only happened exactly according to that which was written long ago in the law and the prophets, documenting without a shadow of doubt that Jesus Christ was truly the Messiah, but they also happened to visually teach us on a spiritual level concerning the wonderful works of God and His plan of salvation and redemption. You "see", our flesh eyes cannot see things that are spiritual because those things are invisible to our physical sight. For example, we cannot place an "attitude" under a microscope and examine it, nor can we see words cut like a sword through a man's heart. We can however, see a physical sword slice through a man's heart or body and we can physically see people taken prisoner and made captives, and so it is for our admonition and understanding (1 Cor. 10:11) we were given types and ensamples to see with our flesh eyes, like the king of Babylon and his army which came against Israel and slaughtered many and took captive our people, so that we can "see" and understand the magnitude of the spiritual captivity and spiritual desolation that takes place during the spiritual warfare of these last days by the king of Babylon of Revelation, that abominable one who comes and stands in the holy place wielding his sword of lies and claiming to be God while making desolate the souls of men.

The point to all this is that the things we are reading about surrounding the crucifixion have great significance and meaning and are given by our Father to teach us if we will simply take the time to prayerfully study and get to know Him through His Word instead of listening to the voice of the multitude and following after the traditions of men.

Let's take this next event we read of in our study of Matthew as an example.

Matthew 27:48
And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink.
This was the fifth and last occasion on which this was done (see note on Mat. 27:34 on pg. 1377 in The Companion Bible). You may recall back in vs. 34 that they tried to give Jesus vinegar mingled with gall, which was a drug, either "hemlock" as some scholars surmise, which is symbolic of the "poison" or "venom" of serpents, or the anesthetizing drug derived from "poppies" (See note on Ps. 69:21 in The Companion Bible). Either way, it was another of Satan's futile plots to foil the plan of God for if Jesus would have partaken of that drug-laced vinegar He would not have been able to finish His work on the cross and we would all still be lost. So Christ refused to drink that which was offered to Him in vs. 34, not because He knew what was in it, but because He KNEW it was not yet "time" to receive the vinegar according to the scriptures. To understand this we must go to the book of John and pick some more details pertaining to this final "giving Him vinegar to drink".
John 19:28
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Once Jesus saw the casting of the lots by the Roman soldiers as per Psalm 22, "He knew that all the scripture which foretold of others was finished" (see pg. 1569 in The Companion Bible.) THEN, "knowing that all things were now accomplished", it was now time to "redeem His people Israel" which was the last thing He did before He bowed His head and willingly gave up His life (spirit, pneuma) in the flesh. And so He referred to the 69th Psalm which is the Psalm of ISRAEL'S REDEMPTION. THEIR REDEEMER WAITS FOR HIS DELIVERANCE.

You "see", Jesus did NOT say "I thirst" because He was thirsty, as is so commonly taught by the blind and the Biblically illiterate. In fact, Jn. 19:28 tells us exactly WHY He said "I thirst"... "that the scripture might be fulfilled"! That scripture is Ps. 69 so let's go there and read a few verses beginning in verse 20.

Psalm 69:20-22
Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

[21] They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Isn't the Word of God incredible and the fulfillment of it wondrous?
[22] Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
Remember the "other Jesus" we learned of in our last study? It is written numerous places in the scriptures that Jesus Christ would become a stumbling block to those who choose to remain Biblically illiterate and follow after the traditions of men which have become a mere form of worship, churchianity, which is a substitute for the reality which is Jesus Christ, the Word of God! Peter speaks of this and documents the reason why Christ becomes a snare, a stone of stumbling:
1 Peter 2:7-9
Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

[8] And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

If you will not take the time to be obedient and study the Word of God to show yourself approved as a workman, a laborer in the field (2 Tim. 2:15), then because your disobedience has caused you to remain Biblically lliterate, you will stumble and fall to the other Jesus, Satan, the instead-of-Jesus when he comes.

Let us return to Matthew 27 where it is now just about time for the greatest event and act of love in the history of the world to take place... and praise God for it! Darkness, which began at the sixth hour (12 PM) and lasted until the ninth hour (3 PM), now covered the land. There were people standing around who had heard Jesus cry out "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani" but they did not understand what He said. In other words, they did not know that He was quoting from Ps. 22:1 just as many today do not know, showing that there was and still is great ignorance and lack of understanding surrounding His words and the things that He did!

Matthew 27:49
The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save Him.
The ironic part is that they were beholding the very Savior Himself, Yahshua Messiah, who was about to pay the price and give His life that they might live! Jesus now utters His final words from the last verse in Psalm 22.
[50] Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
The text of this last cry is also recorded by John.
John 19:30
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Again, the last words of Psalm 22, "He hath done this", is equivalent to "It is finished" in Jn. 19:30.Now notice that Jesus first "bowed His head" and then "gave up" the ghost, which is "pneuma" in Greek, meaning spirit or His breath. In other words, the sequence was not that He first died whereby His head would have slumped forward, because the fact is no man could take His life!   Why not?    Because He was the Son of God!   You "see", He WILLINGLY and LOVING first bowed His head and then GAVE UP His life... for you and me and the sins of the world.  If that doesn't document His supreme love and who He was thinking of in face of all the suffering and affliction He had gone through, then go back to your traditions and believe He was concerned about "dying" in the garden of Gethsemane and believe He said "I thirst" because He was thirsty!  Otherwise, get on your knees and thank your heavenly Father for what He has done for us!

Now here's what happened when He departed the flesh.

[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;
"Behold" means take notice and pay attention to what follows. Three things happened in this verse.

(1) The veil was rent in two from the top to the bottom thus opening up from heaven above, the Holy of Holies. This means we can now approach the throne of our heavenly Father without going through any flesh priest, for there is only one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), and that one is Jesus Christ who now sits at His right hand. That means if you have a need or a prayer request you can take it directly to Him. And you know what else? You do not need to call an 800 number nor pledge $30 a month nor show yourself approved to some would-be holier-than-thou confessor.

Also, this renting of the veil to the Holy of Holies occurred at 3:00 PM, which was the time when the priest was preparing the sacrifice in the temple. That means that Caiaphas, the wicked high priest and chief kenite, would have been present at this time and the look on his face when that huge veil was rent would most definitely have been a Kodak moment!

(2) The earth did quake, and we will read in verse 54 that the centurion and those who were with Him who were watching Jesus, feared greatly because of the earthquake and the events that were taking place and thus they knew that Jesus was truly the Son of God. And so shall it be when He returns at the second advent! There shall also be a great earthquake, a shakeup of all the earth, and all shall behold Him and know that He is the Son of God and the King of kings and Lord of Lords.

(3) The rocks rent. Consider this also a type and a reminder to those who have taken heed to what Christ told us in Mat. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 concerning the stones... that there would not be one stone left standing atop another when He returns.

[52] And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
What is it that we are to learn from this sign? Well, what just happened in verse 50? Jesus Christ has JUST PAID THE PRICE on the cross and given His life in sacrifice that we might be freed from the bondage of death! As we learned in Heb. 2:14, He came to this earth to defeat death and so it is through Him we have the victory over death, which simply means that death can no longer hold us if we are in Christ! Paul talks about this victory over death in 1 Cor. 15 where he fittingly quotes from the prophets Isaiah (whose name means "salvation of Yah") and Hosea (whose name means "salvation").
1 Cor. 15:54
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
You must put on both the incorruptible body and immortality, which is to be raised in your spiritual body and also raised to the status of eternal life respectively. Then, and only then, shall you have the victory over death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor. 15:55
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

[56] The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

[57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So now that the price has been paid, what was the first thing Jesus did following the death of His flesh? Peter tells in 1 Pet. 3:18-20.
1 Peter 3:18-20
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
This is what it is all about. Jesus Christ paid the price on the cross that we might be brought back home to the Father. However, until He paid that price and until He made that eternal sacrifice, all the people including the patriarchs and saints who went before us could not be freed from bondage. So He immediately went to them and offered them salvation and many washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and were now set free from death's hold.
[19] By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
The price had now been paid and the prison doors were opened showing the way to the Holy of Holies.
[20] Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Once again, salvation was offered to all those who lived and died in the flesh the whole way back to "the days of Noah", which is actually a figure of speech meaning all the way back to the beginning, so that all those who lived and died before Jesus paid the price on the cross could now wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore to document and visually show and give witness to what His death accomplished in the victory over the grave, He gave the people (and us) a sign (see 27:53) whereby they had witness to the wondrous miracle and resurrection to life that had just taken place.
Matthew 27:53
And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Some people read this and all they visualize are zombies rising up out of the graveyard and walking in town. However, those who are mature in their Father's Word and understand Eccles. 12:7 and Paul's explanation in 1 Cor. 15 concerning the two bodies, the "natural body and the spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44)", know that once the flesh body dies it returns to the dust of the earth and that is the end of it, while the spirit, i.e. that soul in his spiritual body, returns to the Father where he came from in the first place.  So these saints who "came out of the graves", who were familiar people known by the local townsfolk to have lived, died, and been buried, simply appeared in this dimension to be seen of flesh men's eyes to show that they were not dead at all, but were alive and free from death and the grave because of what Jesus Christ had done. Jesus actually told us in John 5:28-29 that this would happen.
John 5:28-29
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice,
Again, to be "in the grave" does not mean to be literally six feet under but rather to still be in bondage to the grave, i.e. to physical death. As we read in 1 Cor. 15:57, it is through Jesus Christ that we can have the victory over the grave and be freed from its grip! (1 Cor. 15:55 "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?") And so all who had lived and died in the flesh before Jesus Christ came and paid the price on the cross did hear His voice when He went to them and offered them salvation following His crucifixion.
[29] And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Obviously not everyone accepted His sacrifice and believed in Him. Nevertheless, as we discussed in our opening paragraphs to today's study, we are able to visualize these folks going into the city and appearing unto many, which is a type for our flesh eyes to "see" the mighty and marvelous spiritual works of our Father and "see" the victory we have through Jesus Christ over death and the grave.
Isn't that fantastic?
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.
As we discussed before, at the sound of the 7th Trump there shall be another shaking and all those who see that earthquake at His coming shall fear greatly and know that He truly is the Son of God who has all power and authority.
[55] And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him:
This is a tribute to these women who remained faithful followers of Christ and did not desert Him when the men scattered.
[56] Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
Mary Magdalene was a sinner indeed for it is written in Mark 16:9 that Jesus cast seven devils out of her. From that cleansing on she became a spiritual virgin and remained faithful to Christ unto the very end. (Seven is the number of "spiritual completeness" in Biblical numerics.)

Here is Mark's account:

Mark 16:9-11
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

[10] And she went and told them that had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.

Should they have been mourning and weeping? Surely you know the answer to that by now (Luke 23:28).
[11] And they, when they had heard that He was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
Had they taken heed and believed the Word of God, even Christ's own words that He would meet them in Galilee following His death and resurrection, they would have been expecting to hear this good news! Matthew 26:32 "But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee."Obviously they did not truly believe His words, did they?Therefore when Jesus later appeared unto the eleven disciples, He upbraided [chided] them with their "unbelief" and "hardness of heart"! Let us all learn a lesson from this example and believe the words of Jesus Christ... for they cannot fail!
Mark 16:14
Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.
Now here is another "rich" teaching for us to "see" and understand.
Matthew 27:57
When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
Joseph of Arimathaea was "kinfolk" to Jesus Christ in that history shows he was Mary's uncle. He is also referred to in tradition and folklore as "Joseph the Tin Man, the Tin Man" because it was his many ships that transported tin from the mines in Cornwall, England, throughout the Roman Empire. In other words Joseph was a rich shipping magnate and bore the title of "Noblius Decurio".

Now here's a question many have asked and wondered about: "Where was Jesus between the age of 12 when He was last seen in the temple and age 30 when He reappeared to begin His ministry, because there no Biblical record of His whereabouts?"If you still wonder about this, then obtain a copy of "The Traditions of Glastonbury", by E. Raymond Capt, which talks about the many trips the young lad and His mother took to England with their uncle.

Nevertheless, the close kinsman relationship of Joseph to Jesus Christ is one of great importance for it was the fact that Joseph was a close relative to Jesus that gave him the right by law, the law of "kinsman redeemer", to claim the body of Jesus from the Roman government, else Pilate would never have released it to him.

[58] He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
If you understand the law of the kinsman redeemer then you can understand how our Father who is our closest relative, our nearest kinsman, is our kinsman redeemer.
[59] And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
[60] And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
And yet another prophecy is fulfilled... that of Isa. 53:9 which states that Christ would die with the transgressors, which He did on the cross, and be buried with the rich.
Isaiah 53:9
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Not only was His burial a fulfillment of that which was written over a half millennium beforehand, but there is a parallel here concerning His just ones. You "see", though the righteous live and die among sinners they too are buried with the "spiritually" rich.
[61] And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
These two women were both witnesses to the death and resurrection of Yahshua Messiah in that they were the last to see Him before His death, after the disciples had all scattered and John was sent home, and they were the first to see Him after the resurrection, even before the eleven disciples!
[62] Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
[63] Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
This is all part of Tombgate, the continuing "cover up" of the kenite's wicked conspiracy to murder Jesus Christ. They have already "disposed" of Judas whom they feared would go forth from the temple after casting back the thirty pieces of silver and spill his guts out to the public about their plot, so they spilled them for him... on the ground that is, and now they wanted to make sure nothing else went wrong. Notice also that they call Jesus Christ "that deceiver" when it is they themselves who are the deceivers because these kenites, sons of Cain, are the offspring of their father, the greatest deceiver and liar of all time, Satan himself. John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
[64] Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
They might be having second thoughts about murdering Jesus Christ because the supernatural things that were happening, e.g. the three hours of darkness, the earthquake, the rent rocks, the renting of the veil in the temple, etc., were convincing a lot of people that He truly was the Son of God. All they needed now would be for people to believe His words that He would rise again the third day and they would lose a lot more church members... which equates to a negative impact on cash flow!

The ironic part about all this is that their very own guards that they employ to make sure no one comes and steals Christ's body, gives a second witness along with the other guards to the fact that nobody did! In other words, Christ's own enemies give witness and credibility to His resurrection.

[65] Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
This is a hoot! How "sure" can Satan and his puny men guard the tomb of Jesus Christ to make sure He does not come forth and have the victory over the grave? The fact is, it's already too late guys! Remember from 1 Pet. 3:18-20 that He left that tomb and went to the captives for 3 1/2 days to offer salvation to those who had already lived and died in the flesh. Well, that's just like Satan, isn't it? He's always a day late and a dollar short as they say. His plots to foil the Plan of God have all fizzled from the beginning even unto now.
[66] So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
Thus in sealing the stone and setting a watch they sealed their witness that the Word of God is true and cannot fail. What an incredible series of events that took place during that short time just prior to, during, and immediately following His resurrection... which we will read about in our next and final study of this great Book of Matthew!

... to be continued.
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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