Sunday Morning Podcast. July 25, 2021. Pastor Bro. Dave Goble.

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We’re going to speak to you this morning, from another lesson from “the cross.”  We’re not speaking in particular of “the seven sayings of the cross,”  (that Jesus uttered while on the cross), but from a collection of lessons that might be useful for us to use to interpret life that we live in now, to get through things the way God wants us to, our focus.

TEXT: MATTHEW  27:50-56

50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple as rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.  

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.  

55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 

56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.

Jesus was crucified outside the city.  And the veil, that maybe have been about 60 feet tall, was torn from the top to the bottom, to indicate that it happened by no human hands.  The veil is what separated the holy place, from the holiest of the holy.  The place where God said He would occupy once a year, during the time of their recognized year . This illustrates how God made a way for us to cross over into a different experience with Him.  Where before we were able to only occupy the holy place because our sins were forgiven, Jesus now made a way for us to occupy that very close and present place with God, that we interpret of when the Holy Spirit is with us, and now in us!  That symbol we read in verse 51, but there’s another phrase in here that I want to quote and speak about, “the earth did quake.”  So there were three witnesses in this passage.  One was the veil that was torn,  the second was the earth did quake, and the third there were the rocks that were split in two.  I’d like to speak about “The Earthquake” this morning.  It’s testimony will speak about where we stand today, in the middle of a very turbulent time in our history.  It will help us understand what we have and are claiming to have. Three things going on here.  An earthquake follows something that happened to produce it.  1) An earthquake follows something. , What does it follow?  2) Therefore an earthquake is a witness, that something is happening. So we need to speak about the something that precedes the earthquake that causes it to happen.  3)  After the earth quakes, there is usually a traumatically new landscape someplace on the earth.  Or a new reality!   So it follows something, it’s a witness of something, and there’s a new landscape, that arises.  And each of these things speaks to us. 

The earth quaked when Jesus died; there was a tremendous event that produced that earthquake!   Earthquakes are best understood not by reading about them, but by experiencing them.  You can read about an earthquake, but if you weren’t there you don’t really know unless you have felt the earth shake.  Now if you experience that earthquake it’s different!   You’re not being told what it’s like, but you know what it is like!   Experience is important when we talk about Faith and Salvation!  Two strains of thought that can go along with these thoughts.  It’s just as well to comprehend Salvation, to read about it, to make mental changes in the way we live life, to stop some things, and start doing some things.  That’s one idea about Salvation.  A mental picture of it.  Maybe the following of certain traditions and rituals.   I’d like to believe that the Lord wants us to experience Him.  It’s one thing to understand Him, but quite a different thing to have a moment with God to experience Him in the first place.  Prior we were in the kingdom of darkness, but in a moment God translates us into the kingdom of light.  If it’s not this way I would like someone to explain what the scriptures mean when they talk about a new life and birth!  It’s not an evolution of things, it’s a revolution of them!  We used to be one way, but now we’re totally different!  That comes by experience, and more so by the intellect!  In Romans 5: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3, And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:   

Experience is necessary to produce hope.  Not intellect or reason, but having gone through something produces hope!  Hope that really matters!  A hope that saves us!  It gives us a hope of heaven!  An experience!  Can we say we have an experience with God this morning?  Not were you raised here, or go to some sort of bible class, claim to believe God, or read your bible. But that I have an experience with God and that has given me hope!  The experience that God has changed you!  And that experience has now produced hope!  Without hope a person tends to experience darkness!  First question; If you find yourself in a darkness, ask yourself,  “have I experienced God?”  The lack of experience will leave us hopeless!  Matthew 10:38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. What precedes the earthquake, is that we are willing to take up our cross.  When a person is saved, they actually come to a place where the cross is presented to them.  The cross symbolizes the death of self, and of sacrifice. In order to have an experience, there must be a death of self!   What brings me to the foot of the cross, is to be willing to take up the cross.  Second question; Have you taken up your cross?  You can take up religion and not take up your cross.  This is going to be more personal.  So the cross precedes the earthquake, the death of self, and sacrifice.  Has self died?  When self needs to die, is it dead?  In moments of stress?   If the cross represents the death of self, that true for you?  Or will this week we find ourselves where we have a profession but not a possession?  We need to examine our heart.  Before the earthquake there has to be a momentous change in a person’s life.  What will follow is an earthquake!  If there hasn’t been a momentous change in our life that has been caused by the saving power of Christ, then there might be a little rumble but there’s not an earthquake bearing witness.  An earthquake follows a momentous change!  The cross is the death of self. 

The Earthquake