Four Signs Given on Good Friday

Four Signs Given on Good Friday!

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Four Signs Given on Good Friday!

God has given us special signs with various meanings all throughout the Bible. Many of these signs are now the centerpieces of our holidays. As Christians, we celebrate the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ every year during the Easter season. Easter or the Holy Week is a stretch of eight days spent commemorating and celebrating the events of Jesus’ passion week. It begins on Palm Sunday and follows through to Easter Monday. Like other holidays, Easter has quite a few signs. We are going to look at four signs given on Good Friday in today’s article.

Our Easter celebrations follow the Jewish lunisolar calendar. Easter date shifts each year, rather than falling on the same static day. Using the Jewish system, Good Friday falls between March 20, the first potential date for Passover, and April 23, with Easter Sunday falling two days later. The darkest period of that week began with what we refer to as Good Friday. But as we shall see, the darkness points out the very reason the holiday is called Good Friday.

Good Friday, also known as Holy Friday, is the day we remember the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:31; Matt. 27:62). It was on this day that Scripture tells us about four special natural and supernatural signs given by God to point us to the significance of this event in His story! We hope these four signs will help each of us more zealously embrace the reality of Christ’s sacrificial atonement on our behalf.

Sign One: Supernatural Darkness at High Noon

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

Matthew 27:45 ESV

They crucified Jesus around 9 am (or the third hour). Matthew, Mark, and Luke all describe a supernatural darkness occurring over all the earth (see also Mk. 15:33 and Luke 23:44-45). At the sixth hour or High Noon, normally the brightest part of the day, darkness consumed the earth. Luke adds that this occurred, “while the sun’s light failed” (Luke 23:45a). Since Passover always occurs during a full moon, an eclipse did not cause this darkness. Though many have tried to explain a natural reason for this sign, there is no natural reason for it.

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The darkness was a sign of physical and spiritual significance. Through nature’s groaning, God is reminding us of the physical weight of sin and death as Christ is dying on the cross. The apostle Paul tells us that though the darkness lifted, this groaning continues to this present day as the whole of creation is awaiting the return and reign of Jesus Christ.

22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

Romans 8:22 ESV

Spiritually, this was a fulfillment of God’s painful sacrifice and promised judgment of sin in Amos.

Amos 8:9–10 ESV

9  “And on that day,” declares the Lord God,

“I will make the sun go down at noon

and darken the earth in broad daylight.

10  I will turn your feasts into mourning

and all your songs into lamentation;

I will bring sackcloth on every waist

and baldness on every head;

I will make it like the mourning for an only son

and the end of it like a bitter day.

For three hours, darkness consumed the earth. For three hours, creation mourned it’s Creator’s spiritual death and groaned over the incredible cost of human sin. Likewise, we should grieve the sin that remains until the Lord returns to completely sanctify us from the evil effects of our own willingness to sin.

Sign Two: Supernatural Tearing of the Temple Curtain

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Matthew 27:51 ESV

At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out, “It is finished (John 19:30),” “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit! (Luke 23:46).” He then bowed His head and yielded up His spirit. According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, two more supernatural signs were given to us at that very moment.

The first dealt with the supernatural tearing of the Temple Curtain. In the temple, a curtain divided the outer Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. The innermost Holy of Holies was so protected no one could enter except for once a year. On the Day of Atonement the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies alone to offer a blood sacrifice to atone for the annual sins of all Israel.

A very thick curtain hung between these two areas, separating all of humanity from the place of God’s presence. At the moment of Jesus’ death, the curtain was ripped in two from top to bottom, from heaven to earth supernaturally according to God’s will. Throughout history, God has only allowed a few people to enter into His presence. But now, through Christ, God invites humanity to enter into His presence through Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice. He took our place. He endured the wrath of God against our sin. Jesus chose to become our mediatorial high priest, allowing sinful humanity to connect with our holy God.

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

1 Timothy 2:5–6 ESV

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

Ephesians 2:14 ESV

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:19–23 ESV

The treasure we have in the tearing of the Temple’s Curtain is that we now have a direct line of access to God through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, we are greeted as friends, rather than as enemies. What a great Easter truth!

Sign Three: A Supernaturally Timed Natural Earthquake

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

Matthew 27:51 ESV

At the same moment that Jesus yielded His spirit, that someone (God) divinely ripped apart the curtain, the earth quaked. Rocks split in two. This wasn’t a mild quake, it was an attention-getting quake. God was making sure that no one could miss the significance of this event if they were paying attention. And even if they weren’t, they should have come to attention.

It certainly got the attention of the Centurions overseeing the crucifixion.

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!”

Matthew 27:54 ESV

They saw the darkness consume the earth. These brave Roman soldiers felt the powerful earthquake the very moment Jesus breathed His last breath. They got the message of God’s signs, while not even knowing about the Temple Curtain. They saw all that took place and could never be the same. Filled with awe, they proclaimed, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Perhaps they also witnessed the next sign, or at least the splitting of the rocks that led to the miraculous sign that points us toward our future hope in Christ.

Sign Four: Tombs of the Saints Supernaturally Opened

Prior to the Centurion’s awe-filled response to the events unfolding before him, we are told in Scripture that something else happened during these signs.

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.

Matthew 27:52–53 ESV

I believe the earthquake split the rocks that sealed the tombs of the saints of old. The quake opened these tombs to the light of day for the first time in many years. The interesting thing to me is that no movement occurred from these saints until after Jesus’ resurrection. Perhaps they stayed in the tomb until the resurrection, but that isn’t very likely.

It is more likely they were resurrected along with Jesus. This final Good Friday sign opened the door (pun intended) to the miraculous resurrection day sign of the saints of old being raised to new life. These weren’t ghosts or spirits. Decaying, zombie-like skeletons weren’t roaming throughout Jerusalem’s streets. What we see here is the power of Ezekiel 37, the power of Christ-like resurrection! It is a Daniel 12 awakening.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Daniel 12:2 ESV

Conclusion: Four Signs Given On Good Friday Point Us Toward Jesus!

What an amazing set of signs our God has provided to help point us toward the truth. It is the hope we hold on to each day by faith in Christ Jesus. We ultimately trust that these Good Friday signs will draw you closer to the reality that Jesus’ death overthrew and conquered the power of sin and death once and for all. If we can’t get zealous about this truth, there is no hope in us. Be zealous! Live zealously as you consider Jesus Christ’s finished work on your behalf.

Wayne Sullivan

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