This year we are studying the book of John. and this week we are studying the crucifixion of Jesus. and while I know this story, I grew up hearing it, this year it has taken on a whole new meaning. I am studying it, and it isn't just a "story". I am reading about how someone I love and care about, was brutally tortured. He was flogged and barely kept alive, but alive enough that He could then not only walk Himself but carry his own cross, to be crucified. The words sting me. They make me nauseas. They hurt me. Because I read about how Pilate sentenced Him to be crucified, because he was so concerned with the world and the people of this world. I have always thought Pilate was some horrible man. But now I see myself in him. And I read about the people in the crowd mocking Jesus, and I see my face in that crowd. Mocking him with my daily sinful thoughts and actions.
Jesus' crucifixion started around 9am. From 12pm-3pm He fulfilled 20 prophecies. TWENTY in 3 hours. He fulfilled 48 in His entire life. The probability of this is so supernaturally small.
Hanging on the cross, in pain we could never imagine, knowing soon he would die, he still cared enough about his purpose- to fulfill that last prophecy. I am blown away by how meticulous He is. How in the details he is. Because after that last prophecy was fulfilled, he took his last breath, stated "It is Finished" and gave up his spirit. He gave up his spirit. He didn't just die. He wasn't murdered. He willingly laid it down. For me, and for you. He was in control, every second. As He is today.
At the temple, there was a veil (60 feet long, 20 feet high, as thick as the palm of a man's hand). The only person allowed to enter behind this veil was the high priest. And even then, only once a year, to present the blood to atone for sins. When Jesus was dying, with earthquakes all around, with darkness even though it was the middle of the day, becoming unclean so that we could become clean. When Jesus physically died, this veil was torn, from top to bottom- this could only be the work of God himself. I mean can you imagine being there when this happened? and not believe in God? Yet people seemed to do just that.
The veil was torn. Just as Christ's body was torn. The curtain was needed as a barrier between man and God's presence. But through Christ's death we don't need a barrier anymore. We can freely enter into God's presence. Hallelujah that You tore the veil and made a way.
I am so humbled and in awe of Jesus. Of His obedience to His Father. Of his unwavering focus on what God wanted from him. Of how meticulous of a God he is.