Matthew 27:45-56 (Part 4) – Everybody Deserves A Chance to “Get It!”

Posted: April 30, 2016 in 40-Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 27:45-56 (Part 4)

Jesus Dies on the Cross

We tend to classify people when we are in school and sometimes even in adulthood we do that. I remember in high school, there were classifications that people fell into. There were the jocks. They were the athletes who populate the high school’s sport teams. There were the prom queens. They were the social elite girls who ran the school from a teenage political standpoint. There were the nerds. They were the Big Bang Theory types who had many times more brains than they had understanding of teen social skills and teen politics. There were the hoodlums or rednecks. These are the ones that were negative about everything, would fight at the drop of a hat and just wanted to get out high school as soon as possible. There were the social outcasts. They were the loners who had no friends and the ones that you would never miss if they did not show up at school. It is rare that you had mixtures. It was rare to have a smart athlete for example. However, occasionally, there would be one of those rare birds of a smart athlete. They would surprise you when you found out that they had 4.0 grade point average in addition to being a star linebacker. It used to make the nerds mad when there was such rarity because it ruined their definition of the universe. They were smart and as a result were untalented athletically and socially awkward whereas athletes may be talented and socially accepted. There was rhyme and reason to the universe through this view. Having someone break the boundaries by being both smart AND athletic shook the foundations of teen social strata. The way we classify people as unworthy of our interest as an easy way not to witness to them is what I was thinking about as I read this passage again this morning. Let’s read Matthew 27:45-56 again and, today, lets concentrate on vv. 54:

 

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b]

 

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

 

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

 

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

 

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[c] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

 

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

 

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[d] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

 

In this scene, we see these Roman soldiers, who were pagan idol worshippers of the Roman pantheon of gods, recognize that Jesus is who He says He is. It is the Roman soldiers who see Jesus for who He has but yet it was the supposedly holy leaders of Israel, those who understood the Old Testament better than anyone in Israel, that could not see who Jesus was. It is like seeing a football jock get the answer to the essay question more right than the brainiacs. It is the unexpected. The braniacs are making fun but the teacher says to the athlete guy that he’s got the spot-on answer and there is a look of shock on the faces of the brainiacs. Here, we have the unexpected jocks of the Roman Army getting it right when the brainiacs of the Jewish religious elite did not.

 

That’s the thing here that I think we learn that we can take away. No, not about classifying people as jocks and brainiacs but rather that we should not pick and choose whom we share the gospel. We should not pick and choose whom that we will show the love of Christ to and those we will not. Here, in this passage, you see that Roman soldiers were able to get it even though they were idol worshipers. Everyone no matter how much they say they oppose Christianity has the ability to “get it!” Therefore, instead of writing off practicing homosexuals and practicing transgenders and classifying them as unreachable and incapable of understanding the gospel, we love them right where they are and we witness to the power of the gospel to change lives. Same is true for Muslims. They have the capability to “get it!” They should not then be written off as an unreachable people and as a people that we should hate. Same is true for people of different ethnicities from us. Same is true for people the ganstas. Same is true for those who think all roads lead to heaven and that we should just co-exist. Same is true for those who do not believe in God at all. The same is true for anyone that is different from me, from a different background, different social background, different economic background. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for even the most hardened member of ISIS to be able to understand that Jesus Christ is Lord. If we write people off as unreachable, we are disobeying Jesus Christ. He called us to make disciples of all nations. That means that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you live or what you currently believe, God has made it possible for you through the work of the Holy Spirit to understand the person and work of Jesus Christ. Insteading of hating those who are not like us, we should be loving them…so that we can have relationships with them…so that we can speak truth to them…so that we can tell them about Jesus…so that they can “get it!”

 

 

Amen and Amen.

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Comments
  1. Elizabeth Bryant Henderson says:

    I’m trying to get a play at my church I’m trying to find a person that would actually come to the church and put on a crucifixion last that’s why I went on the site

    Like

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