Matthew 27:45 “…the sixth hour until the ninth hour…”
From 12:00 noon until 3:00 pm. If I’m remembering correctly this is the way the Jews measured time. Started at sunup or approximately 6:00 am. There are some time notations in the other gospels that are different so they probably use the Roman time system.
45 “…there was darkness over all the land”
I would think that this darkness is darker than mere cloudiness. If it were just cloudy or overcast I don’t think the writer would have thought it worthy of mention. This darkness lasted for three hours. No way this was a natural phenomenon like a solar eclipse as that wouldn’t have lasted long enough.
46 “…about the ninth hour Jesus cried out…My God, My God…”
At this point, all the sin has been laid upon Him. God the Father has to turn away and judge the sin. Matthew doesn’t give us the text of Jesus’s other sayings on the cross, but He will later say it is finished. Will need to do a study on the sayings. Crossed my mind the other day that, from what Jesus says, His payment for our sins occurred before He died. His resurrection was His victory over death itself. So did His death have a particular purpose or was it part of winning over death; He had to die to come back to life. Will be an interesting study.
47 “…This Man is calling for Elijah”
It says some who stood there thought His words of Eli, Eli, were calls for Elijah. They didn’t understand the words He was actually saying. One commentary suggested they said this out of derision toward Him, but there’s no evidence here of that. It says one of them ran to get a sponge of the sour wine to give Him, so they thought He was delirious and wanted to help. Others derided Him, saying see if Elijah would come to save Him.
50 “…yielded up His spirit”
Until recently, I had always read this as a general reference saying that Jesus died. But it carries the connotation of deliberate purpose. If we believe that Jesus was without sin, which He was, then He had no sin nature to cause degradation and decay. He would live forever as Adam and Eve would have had they not sinned. So, for Him to die, He had to choose to do so and separate His soul and spirit from His body. Men can sometimes choose the time of their death, prematurely, but only Jesus could choose to die. Otherwise He never would have.
51 “…the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…”
The heavy curtain which separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was split. Significant that it was from top to bottom. It is said to have been around sixty feet tall, so to have been torn from the top would exclude the chance that man did it. Some historians also record that it was some four inches thick which would also make it impossible for a man to tear. The idea is that God Himself removed the barrier between Himself and mankind when Jesus died. Jesus provided a way for man to be reconciled to God, and God showed that by removing the symbol of separation. Now we have direct access to God through the blood of Jesus.
52-53 “…many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep…coming out of the graves after His resurrection…appeared to many”
Interesting occurrence. From my understanding, Christ died and went to Sheol, the place of the dead. He would have been in the area where the faithful were, called Abraham’s bosom by Him in a parable as well as Paradise on the cross. When He arose from the grave, the scripture says He released the prisoners, those who had been in Paradise, and they then went on to Heaven to live with Him until He returns to earth. Now we know to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. No one has to go to Paradise anymore. Seems to me He allowed some of those He released to be temporarily reunited with their bodies before they went on to Heaven. Nothing else is mentioned about them specifically, so I suspect it was a small confirmation of what had happened. If some of those early believers who had died before Christ was crucified suddenly came back to life and spoke with their loved ones still living, I’m sure it would have been a grand assurance of who Christ was and what He had accomplished. Like the assurance Paul gave the Thessalonians.
54 “…they feared greatly…Truly this was the Son of God”
Not sure how much conversion from actual belief came here. But it is interesting that enough happened to shake the countenance of hardened Roman soldiers.
57 “…a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph…”
If commentaries are correct, it was a small town northwest of Jerusalem. May have been the town from which Samuel originated though under another name. Interesting that Matthew didn’t mention Isaiah 53:9, about the Messiah making His grave with the wicked, but with the rich at His death.
61 “…sitting opposite the tomb”
Some critics like to say the women went to the wrong tomb and thus believed Christ had risen. Not going to happen. They had been there through the crucifixion and now through the burial. No way they would forget where He was buried.
62 “…which followed the Day of Preparation…”
Would have put it on the Sabbath.
66 “…they went and made the tomb secure…”
They had it all wrong. They made it secure from anyone trying to get in from the outside. They had no idea they couldn’t make it secure from Someone coming out.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.