Representation of the Temple Curtain by A. Gardere
2 Chronicles 3:14
He made the curtain of blue, purple and crimson yarn and fine linen, with cherubim worked into it.
Matthew 27:51-6651 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.
61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
If you ever wanted to own a Roman coin, they sell on ebay for not much money. The coins come from Roman soldiers frequently burying their treasure before war, the coins come with instructions to wash millenniums of soil away. Roman soldiers faced death all the time, if not from war, then in decimation from discipline.
Why doesn't the history from the Scriptures, Josephus, from Sanhedrin Council records say the praetorian guard was killed? There was too much going on, if Pilate was frightened and personally flogged Jesus himself (John 19:1) , how must Pilate have felt when all of these events occurred? Even the soldiers surrounding Jesus must have reported to Pilate saying among themselves Jesus was the Son of God. Eclipse, earthquake, Temple steps, Temple curtain, dismissing His own spirit, forgiveness and early death. The tombs opened and bodily resurrection reported, not just of the Lord, but the holy. Pilate's own sign proclaiming in three languages Jesus was King of the Jews.
Did Pilate stand on the steps to see the sky become dark and feel the earthquake on the Scala Sancta, the Holy Stairs, transfered from the archaeological ruins of Pilate's Palace to the Vatican? (Scripture for Today Link) Without doubt, Pilate was later informed.
Pilate was later fired, struck down in his military standing, for his inability to rule in orderly methods with the Jews. There were many examples of Pilate and his extreme tactical mistakes, in later years Jesus' trial was known throughout the Empire and beyond for being unjust.
Of more impressive significance is Joseph of Arimathea. Never one exposed to war, death, criminal death, capital punishment. The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme religious body in the Land of Israel during the time of the Holy Temple and at this time chosen by Herod. So Joseph stepping up to take care of Jesus is truly the mark of the diligent and earnest soul to God.
The meaning for today - might be this. The Body of Christ is concerned again about violence. Violence has met the Kingdom of God many times. There is no reason why every Church should not have a silent alarm and an idea for security. God is pleased with our diligence and security.
Thank You, Father God for the relief to the story of Jesus' sufferings. We thank You, Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †