Friday, May 13, 2016

Matthew 27:51-54 -- On Drama and Focus

"And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
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."
Matthew 27:51-54

An earthquake, and the dead coming to life.  (Not in a zombie apocalypse way, but actually being brought back to life with perfect, non-rotting bodies.)  Seems pretty dramatic, and I think at the time it was a clear and obvious sign.  Probably one of the reasons they felt the need to seal Christ's grave and post guards.  I was reading this today and wondering why we don't hear more about this resurrection part... I mean, wow. That's huge.  People coming back to life, and appearing to many.  I think the fact that it says many means that it was well-known at the time.  But you know, I think in context that Matthew got it right.  The story he was telling wasn't the story of the resurrection of all of those people, or a major earthquake.  The story he was telling was the story of Christ, and he kept the focus there, just mentioning these contemporary events because they were more clear signs of Christ's divinity.

Maybe sometimes we focus on the wrong drama as well.  We feel the earthquake and we see the dead coming to life, and we forget that the most important thing here is still (and always) Christ.  He's the reason for everything else, and because of him we have the chance to live and learn and become, and every other verb you can think of.  We have choice because of him.  We have the chance to change because of him.  He is the source of our hope.

Today, despite all the peripheral drama in the world, let's focus on what matters: Christ, who lived and died and lives again, for us.

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