Crucified and Risen - 2016

Scripture: Matthew 28:18, Matthew 27:11-26, John 3:19
Date: 06/25/2016 
Lesson: 13
"This week, the final chapters of Matthew, we study the inexhaustible truths regarding our Lord's death and resurrection and the hope that these two events offer us."
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Good morning and welcome to the Sabbath school study hour at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. A very warm welcome to all of our members here today, as well as all of you tuning in around the world. Thank you so much for joining us on this blessed Sabbath day. This week we're going to be covering lesson #13 - crucified and risen. Aren't we blessed to have the hope of a risen Savior? Amen.

At the same time, I would like to mention to you our free offer, which is offer #162. It's entitled the final verdict - again, that's #162. You can call in at the number 866-788-3966. Or, if you would like to download it, you can go directly to the website at and you can find it right there. Before we begin with the lesson study, I would like to invite our choristers out as we sing a couple of praises to the Lord in song.

Won't you join us? Happy Sabbath, church family, and all of you who are tuning in around the world. We're so glad to come together every Sabbath when we can praise God and worship him in song and study His Word knowing that all his promises are true and he will never fail. So let's turn to hymn #518 - standing on the promises. We will sing all three verses. Standing on the promises of Christ my king, thru eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by love's strong cord, overcoming daily with the spirit's sword, standing on the promises of God. Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God.

In this world we have plenty of trials and tribulation, but soon - very soon - all sorrow and all sickness will be gone because Jesus is coming to take us home. And what a wonderful glorious day that will be when we can sing with angels, heavenly music. Let's turn to hymn #452 - what heavenly music - join us in singing all the verses. What heavenly music steals over the sea! Entrancing the senses like sweet melody! 'Tis the voice of the angels borne soft on the air; for me they are singing; their welcome I hear. On the banks of old Jordan, here gazing I stand, and earnestly longing, I stretch forth my hand; send a convoy of angels, dear Jesus, I pray! Let me join that sweet music; come, take me away.

Though dark are the waters and rough is the wave, if Jesus permit, the wild surges I'll brave; for that heavenly music hath ravished me so, I must join in that chorus! I'll go! Let me go! Thank you so much for singing with us. Please bow your heads for prayer. Our dear, kind, and Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for this beautiful Sabbath day where we can celebrate you and your love and your mercy. Lord, thank you so much for the wonderful blessings you bestowed to all of our members, to the Granite Bay church, and to all of those watching around the world. Lord, please be with pastor doug as he presents to us this important message.

May our eyes be open and our hearts be softened to receive this message. And may it change our lives. We ask all these things in your name, amen. At this time I would like to welcome up Pastor Doug Batchelor. We're going to do our last study - it's in lesson #13.

We're dealing with chapters 27 and 28 of Matthew, much more than I'll really be able to cover, but I'm going to do my best. You know, I like get into the depth of the word and sometimes you do that and time runs away and you realize I haven't finished covering it. So you pray for me. We're going to be talking about Jesus and barabbas, about the great commission, about the resurrection, the veil being rent, and each of these is a whole sermon in itself. I have a memory verse: Matthew 28, verse 18.

If you'd find that, it's in your lesson there in the new king James version. Matthew 28:18, if you want to say that with me. Are you ready? "All authority has been given me in heaven and on earth." That's good to know when you're praying, you're talking to someone that has authority to answer your prayers. Can you say amen? Amen. That's good news.

Alright, so the first section we're going to read is dealing with the theme of Jesus and barabbas - or you should say Jesus or barabbas, actually. Go to Matthew chapter 27 in your Bibles and we're going to just do some reading here to get through this passage. Starting with verse 15 - Matthew 27, verse 15, "now at the feast the governor" - that's pontius pilate - "was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished." - As a gesture - and usually these are political prisoners. And, so as a gesture of kindness and good will, this occupying country said, 'alright, it's your holiday. It's your feast, we'll release a prisoner.

' They had so many prisoners that it wasn't that big a gesture - "and at that time they had a notorious" - or notable - "prisoner called barabbas." Now how many of you know what the word in Hebrew 'bar' means - b-a-r? It means 'son of'. Can you think of some examples in the Bible where you find that term? Barnabas - it tells you in the Bible it means 'son of consolation'. Simon was called Simon bar Jonah - his father's name was Jonah - Simon, The Son of Jonah. You've heard of bartimaeus - is the blind man - he was The Son of timaeus. And so, bar means son of.

What does 'abba' mean? Yeah, remember Paul says, 'abba father' - he tells you what it means. And it doesn't mean father in the sense when you pray the Lord's prayer, 'our father' - that is a little more formal word - it means father - more like the word 'papa'. It's more of a personal family name for father. And so, barabbas' name is 'son of The Father' and he's about to be exchanged for Jesus, who is The Son of The Father. And so he is something of a counterfeit Jesus.

He was a counterfeit Messiah. We'll find out more as we read on here in a minute. So let's just read - go back to chapter 27. They had a notable prisoner, "therefore, when they had gathered together, pilate said to them" - I'm in verse 17 - Matthew 27:17 - "whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" Now pilate wanted to release Jesus. Why did he want to release Jesus? I'll repeat your answers - I'll repeat the correct ones.

He was innocent. He thought he was innocent. He said, 'I find no fault in him.' There's another reason. His wife had a very troubling dream and said, 'have nothing to do with that just man.' In other words, don't do anything to harm him. So pilate is rattled by all of this and then he talks - third reason - he talks to Jesus.

And he's convinced, by talking to Jesus, that there is something supernatural about this man. He never sees a person facing death with such calm and composure. So he wants to let him go even though pilate is not a good man. And so he thinks, 'I got it, they want me to release somebody. I will put out barabbas, who is a rough character, and I'll put him side-by-side with Jesus and they'll see Jesus has been beaten and he looks like he's innocent, like a lamb brought to the slaughter.

They'll see the contrast and they'll quickly vote for Jesus. He had no idea how the mob had been inspired by the devil. Let me read something to you from the book Desire of Ages p. 733. It's a great book.

If you've not read it, I recommend, friends, that you read Desire of Ages. "This man, barabbas, had claimed to be the Messiah. He claimed authority to establish a different order of things and to set the world aright. Under satanic delusion he claimed that whatever he could obtain by theft or robbery was his own." - He'd kind of been reading robin hood or something, you know, just steal from the rich and give to me - "he had done wonderful things through satanic agencies and he had gained a following among the people and it excited sedition against the roman government. Under cover of religious enthusiasm, he was a hardened and a desperate villain bent on rebellion and cruelty.

By giving the people a choice between this man and an innocent Savior, pilate thought to arouse them to a sense of justice." He hoped to gain their sympathy for Jesus in opposition to the priests and rulers. He knew that he had just been turned over for envy and jealousy. But, you know, as soon as you go down the road of compromise - pilate thought, 'well, I'll compromise.' What should pilate have done? He should have said, 'he's innocent.' And let him go. And if he saw that there's a tumult, if nothing else he should have said, 'look, your feast is beginning in a few hours, I'll deal with it after the feast.' And dismissed them. Procrastinate.

Let him go in the meantime. There are other ways he could have done it but, you know, the devil just orchestrated the circumstances. He knew that they had handed him over because of envy. Why were they envious? Because all the people were following Jesus. And "while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, 'have nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of him.

'" - Suffered means that she had been troubled greatly - "but the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for barabbas" - the priests and sanhedrin are circulating in the mob and saying 'barabbas! Barabbas! Ask for barabbas!' - "And destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said to them, 'which of the two do you want me to release to you?' They said, 'barabbas!' Pilate said to them, 'what then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ? They all said to him, 'let him be crucified!'" Now, some who were in the crowd that day, asking for his crucifixion, just a few days earlier - remember, we read in Matthew about the triumphal entry and they said, 'hosanna to The Son of David' and they were throwing their clothes and the palms in the road? There were some people in both crowds. Might have been some people that were in the crowd he fed with the bread. And then, now they're saying, 'crucify!' The multitude can be very fickle. Moses said, 'do not follow a multitude to do evil.

' People can get swept up in the crowd. Matter of fact, one of the strong - there's a few things advertisers use to sell products: one, of course, is they sell with sex. The other one they sell with is the bandwagon. Bandwagon means everybody's doing it. 'Oh, this is what everybody wants.

' And they'll get testimonies and they'll make it seem like if you don't, then you're really out of touch. And so people get caught up in the crowd mentality. Now, some interesting things we find here about barabbas - someone's going to read for me in just a moment, Luke 23. Okay, hafdis, you'll have that? I'm going to read Mark 15 - Mark 15, verse 7, "and there was one named barabbas" - I'm reading about barabbas in the book of Mark, something that Matthew doesn't mention - "and there was one named barabbas, which lay bound with them" - he's tied up laying down - in other words, they had these three characters ready to execute. The reason the crosses were all ready is they had an execution scheduled that day for three guys.

One of them who lay there bound "made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection." And so they had risen up against the Romans. So he's a murderer. Alright, so what's the other thing we learn about him? Go ahead, Luke 23:18, "and they all cried out at once, saying, 'away with this man, and release to us barabbas' - who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder." Now, what else we learn is his two friends are accused of being thieves - his comrades. So he is a thief, he is a rebel, he is a murderer and, before the nation - this nation has been waiting for the Messiah for two millennia - since the time of Abraham - now, here, they have a choice: do you want God's chosen Messiah - the lamb - or do you want the anti-hero - the villain? And what do the people want? They ended up wanting the villain and they wanted the counterfeit Messiah. You see, they didn't want the Messiah who said, 'I've come to die.

I have a spiritual kingdom. I've come as a lamb. I'm going to die for your sins. No, I'm not going to destroy caesar, I'm not going to kill all the roman soldiers. I'm going to give you a spiritual kingdom, one of meekness.

' They said, 'we don't want that. We want a strong violent aggressive leader.' And so, this is the leader that was chosen. This is often the leader that the world chooses, a counterfeit 'bar-abbas' - son of The Father. They didn't want the Jesus barabbas. So whose cross did Jesus die on? Can you imagine the picture? I mean, for a minute, just picture you're barabbas and you've - you're guilty of murder.

You know that the Bible says if you hate your brother without a cause, you're guilty of murder, so Jesus said. You're a thief, the Bible says, if you don't pay tithes and offerings, you rob God. And if we don't faithfully return the time that he's given us to his service, we rob him. And we're rebels. And so, we're kind of like barabbas.

And you're condemned - you're going to die. You know you're about to die the most terrible death and there's this ruckus and all of a sudden the roman soldier comes over and he cuts your ropes and you say, 'what's up?' You're afraid to ask because you're just glad you're being set free. And he said 'that fella there, he's going to die on your cross. He's taking your place.' This is called the substitutionary death. Jesus traded places with barabbas.

Jesus died on barabbas' cross and this is what he does for us. Now, how grateful would you be? You know, a lot of people have tried to create stories and myths about what happened to barabbas. The fact is, he's never mentioned in history. We have no idea whether he repented and he changed. There's no record of him going back to his life of crime - that might be a good thing.

But we really don't know what happened to barabbas. We don't know if he became a believer. But, so history is silent on that subject. But Jesus really was his substitute. You remember when David prayed after absalom died and he says, 'would God I had died for thee.

' One time, David was in battle and the giant, one of The Sons of the giant, was beginning to win in a hand-to-hand battle and abishai, the brother of joab, came in and took David's place and he killed the giant. And he said, 'you're getting too old to fight like this. You stand back now and just direct.' He said, 'we can't lose you.' You remember when rahab helped the two spies? They said, 'our life for yours. You have put your life on the line to save us, we will now save you.' This is the principle of the substitution, and you find it in the Bible a number of places. And God says, 'I will' - Moses said, 'Lord, strike my name from your book that your people might be saved.

' Paul said, 'i'd be willing to be lost that Israel might be saved. It's this principle of substitution. This is what salvation is all about. Anyway, so you see this even in the story of barabbas. Now barabbas is mentioned later in the Bible.

Did you know that? Acts chapter 3, verse 13, "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of pilate," - this is Peter preaching - "when he was determined to let him go." - Pilate was determined to let Jesus go - "but you denied the holy one and the just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses." That makes it pretty plain. Peter - they all knew what happened. They desired a murderer instead of Jesus. Romans 5:6, "for when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the unGodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

" - There are cases where people lay down their lives for somebody else. Many times mothers or fathers have laid down their lives to save their children - that's sort of - we're pre-programmed for that, but to lay down your life to save a stranger - some would lay down their lives - soldiers, many times have laid down their lives to save an officer. Some might lay down their life to save a just man, but what makes this really strange is it says, 'while we were yet sinners Christ laid down his life to save us' unrighteous, unthankful, unappreciative - he, basically, took the cross of a murderer. And then he says to a thief on the cross next to him, 'you'll be with me in paradise.' So just the love of God is hard for us to comprehend. Okay, we've got to keep going here.

The crucified substitute. Now, if you look in Matthew , verse 45 - we're still in Matthew 27 - so they whip Jesus, they lead him off, we don't have time to talk about his time with herod - pilate sends him to herod. And you can read, for instance, in - oh, let's go to Matthew 27, verse 45, "now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land." - So there's this supernatural darkness - "and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'eli, eli, lama sabachthani?' That is translated, 'my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" Now this is sometimes referred to as the cry of dereliction - of abandonment - that he's alone. Why did Jesus say that? Did Jesus get discouraged and finally just explode, 'why did you forsake me, Lord?' Did Jesus lose faith on the cross? No, why did he make that cry? I've heard a lot of very interesting theories. I've heard some pastors say Jesus had all he could take and he cried and somehow - I've heard them say that was a sin.

Of course, I don't believe that for a minute because the Bible says he did no sin. How could he die for our sin? Was he confused? Why did he say that? Separation. Say that again. Quoting Psalms. He was quoting psalm 22.

Why was he quoting psalm 22? Do you have your Bibles? Go to psalm 22 real quick. I've got my pink tab here so I can find it real quick, 'cause I knew where I was going. Psalm 22 - who wrote that? David. David did. It says, "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" So Jesus is quoting from the first verse of the 22nd psalm, which is called a messianic psalm.

This was a psalm that they believed was talking about the coming Messiah. So he's on the cross and he quotes this. Why does he quote from this psalm? Read down in this psalm and look at what it says in some of the verses here. Read verse 16, "for dogs have surrounded me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed me. They pierced my hands and my feet;" so those who knew that psalm - and, keep in mind, they didn't have tv back then.

They memorized a lot of Scripture. Jesus had the whole book of Deuteronomy memorized. And when he started quoting from the first part of that, 'why have you forsaken me?' And they - go down and it says, "they've pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look and stare at me.

They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." And there they saw them, a few moments earlier, gambling for his clothing - casting lots like they did for Jonah - at the foot of the cross. In other words, he quotes from this psalm that is a picture of what's happening at the cross. "Many bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of bashan" - I'm in verse 12 - "have encircled me. They gape at me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion." And "they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 'he trusted in the Lord, let him rescue him...since he delights in him!'" This is what they were saying to him on the cross. 'If you're The Son of God, come down.

' It's kind of what they said to Nehemiah, 'come down that we might talk to you.' And he says, 'I'm doing a great work, I cannot come down.' And so, matter of fact, I can't prove it - one of the thieves - you can read here in Matthew chapter 27 - at the beginning of the crucifixion both thieves joined in mocking him. Of course, he's on the cross for seven hours - six hours alive and one hour dead - towards the end, maybe when that thief heard him say, 'my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' He started thinking of psalm 22. The thief heard him pray, 'father forgive them, they don't know what they're doing.' And a number of things were happening and the Holy Spirit was stirring his heart. He thought about psalm 22 that says, 'they pierced my hands and my feet.' And he sees the sign above Jesus' head - he's right there next to him - 'this is the King of the jews' - and all these things together begin to start to work on him and he realizes, 'this is the Messiah', because something happened in that thief's mind where he turns to Jesus and says, 'Lord,' - well, first of all, his friend is mocking Christ along with the others, and he turns to his friend and he says, 'do you not fear God seeing we are in the same condemnation? And we, indeed, justly for we're receiving the due reward for our deeds.' - We're getting what we deserve - 'but this man has done nothing amiss.' And he turns to Jesus and he says, 'Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Now that was one of the greatest declarations of faith because nobody that day - the apostles, mary, his mother, mary magdalene - no one called him Lord that day. They all kept their distance.

He was being mocked and so the one who recognized him not only as a Lord, but as a king - he said, 'remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Who has a kingdom? A king. So the thief is giving testimony that Jesus is the Messiah and he says, 'remember me. You can save me. You've got power to save me. Nobody in the crowd can, but he turns to the man on the cross and says, 'you can save me.

' I think the statement of Jesus in psalm 22 may have been the final verse that inspired him. Now this is not found in Matthew 27. That's found in Luke, but you string all of them together and you can get the timeline of what's happening here. And then, of course, Jesus turned to him and said, 'verily I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise.' - 'I'm telling you today', not 'you'll be in paradise with me today' because Jesus didn't go to paradise that day. A lot of people have been confused by that mistranslated comma that's there.

Anyway, so he issues this cry of dereliction from the cross. And when he says, 'eloi, eloi' - this is one of the places where it gives it to you in the Hebrew so you'll know why they were confused about what he was saying, because in Hebrew it's 'eloi, eloi' - it's similar to Elijah - and they thought that he was crying for Elijah. He was probably hoarse and - "some of those who stood there," - this is Matthew 27:47 - "when they heard that, said, 'this man is calling for Elijah!' Immediately, one of them ran and took a sponge," - they had also heard him say, 'I thirst' - filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed," - he's up so high they can't reach him, so they put it on a reed - "and offered it to him to drink. The rest said, 'let him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save him.'" - Now, I want to pause right there. What do they give him on the cross? Wine.

One Gospel says that he refused it. John says, 'when he received it' and 'he tasted it.' Now once he realized it was sour wine, he wouldn't drink it because it had - it was sour wine mixed with gall, which was a narcotic that they would give to help dull the pain. Hypothetically, the Romans say that they did that to prolong their suffering, but be it what it may, Jesus didn't want it because he wanted his mind clear. And he even refused drugs on the cross. I'm not saying there's never a time to do that, I'm just telling you what this says here and what - you also read that in the Spirit of prophecy.

What was the first miracle of Jesus? Turned water to wine. Was it old wine or new wine? New wine - it's a wedding. He saved the best for last. You can get old wine all year long. You can only get new wine close to the harvest.

He gave them fresh grape juice. The word 'wine' and grape juice are interchangeable in the Bible and it even talks about when the Holy Spirit was poured out, they accused the disciples of being full of new wine and were sort of mocking them because they said, 'oh, you're saying you're drinking new wine, but you're acting like you're drinking old wine.' So the first miracle of Jesus, he gives man new wine at a wedding. The last thing that happens immediately before he dies, man gives him sour wine. We are saved, in effect, by a blood transfusion. Christ takes our bad wine - our blood, our sin - blood is, you know, it's a symbol of life - the life is in the blood.

He takes our sin, he gives us his righteousness. He gave to man his miraculous wine - new wine - by the way, at the last supper it tells us - and we read this last time - he said, 'I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until I drink it with you new in The Father's kingdom - new wine. It was unleavened bread. It was unfermented grape juice. I like to emphasize that because people think Jesus turned water to wine, he made a bunch of booze - they use that as an excuse to drink alcohol, in spite of everything else the Bible says, and it's the most deadly drug in our culture today.

So I think that's a terrible mistake to make. And then he tastes the sour wine that men offer him. He comes to bless while he's being cursed - he takes the sour wine. And what happens? Immediately after that it says he gives up the ghost and he dies. And it says, let me see here, they put the sponge, let him alone - alright, verse 50, "and Jesus cried out again" - I'm in Matthew 27 - with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit.

" Right after he tastes the sour wine he cries out - and what does he cry? If you look here - someone's going to read for me John 19:30 - whose got that? Alright, I didn't give them much warning to get you on camera. Are you ready? Go ahead, why don't you read that for us, sammy? "So when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, 'it is finished!' And bowing his head, he gave up his spirit." Alright, and I'm going to add the verse Luke 23:46, "and when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice," - now we just read in Matthew he said something with a loud voice just before he died. Matthew doesn't say what he said, just that he cried out. John and Luke tell us what he said - "he said, 'father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' Having said this, he breathed his last." So, evidently he said, 'it is finished. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

' You piece this together. You see what we're doing? We're going through the three Gospels and we're showing what he said. And some people say, 'well, that's the same - that means the Bible's inconsistent.' Not at all. I think that proves it. They're all - the Gospel writers are giving the record of what they remember and what they saw and they don't contradict each other, they're just not saying everything that happened.

I mean, if you put everything on - in the Bible of what happened in those six hours he was on the cross - everything that everybody said - even John, in his Gospel, he said, 'if we should write everything, the world could not contain the books.' So he said, 'we've coalesced the story.' And so that shouldn't surprise us. I think that's actually evidence. Alright, then it says torn veil and rent rocks. If you look in Matthew 27:51 and we're going to read through 54. Right after he says this 'it is finished.

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' He cries it out with a loud voice that's almost like this - this final surge of energy comes into him. I've been part of a few vigils of people who were dying - struggling with cancer - and it's uncanny how many times it seems that a person will - they're confused and they can't think and they're struggling and they're maybe under the influence of some of the pain killers and then, all of a sudden it's like the light breaks through and they become very lucid and they become clear and they talk to the family and within a few hours, they die. It's like there's this - any of you observe that before? You know what I'm talking about? It's like these moments of clarity come to them, they get up, they say good-bye to everybody - it's like Jacob just before he died, he blessed the children, then he lays down and he dies. And Jesus, it's like he got this surge of energy after being on the cross, and he cries out triumphantly, with a loud voice, 'it is finished!' What was finished? His life? 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' Had he lost faith? We've been studying job here at Granite Bay, going through a series on job and, in spite of all of his sufferings, job does not lose faith. And so Jesus cries out - he didn't say, 'why have you forsaken me?' Because he thought he was forsaken.

He knew why he was forsaken. That's what he was praying about in the garden. He read psalm 22. By the way, it was customary for the high priest to read from one of the messianic Psalms during the passover. Jesus is the high priest - he's also the lamb.

It's the passover - he's reading from one of the messianic Psalms and he happens to read the messianic psalm that perfectly describes what's happening that day to him. I also wonder if nicodemus and Joseph of arimathea, two scholars in Israel, when they heard Jesus say that, they knew. Because, you notice, they both suddenly become very brave. Before the cross they were hiding their faith. After the cross Joseph goes boldly to pilate to get the body.

Nicodemus comes out of the closet and he pays for the burial materials. And you wonder if they recognized, in that statement, something that they had missed before. Alright, so Matthew 27:51, "and Jesus cried out." He yielded up his spirit "then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies" - not all the bodies - "many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep" - this is not a universal resurrection - it says, "coming out of the graves after his resurrection," - graves were opened during the earthquake. They don't come out of the graves until when? After his resurrection. Why? Because he had to rise first and buy them permission.

It says, "they went into the holy city" - this is not a universal resurrection. It happens in the holy city with some - "and appeared to many." This is such a small group that this special resurrection of a few of the saints who had died and been buried - their graves are around Jerusalem, it's not, you know, Moses on mount nebo - of course, Moses was already in heaven - or aaron, or any of these others, it's - some of the local saints, buried around Jerusalem. It's not mentioned by Mark, it's not mentioned by Luke, it's not mentioned by John - small group, very briefly - and it was also probably hard - these are, you know, anecdotal stories of people in the city, they said, 'I saw somebody who claimed to be the prophet Isaiah.' 'I saw somebody - it was John the baptist.' I mean, I don't know who was in that group. I hope John the baptist was in the group, but we don't know. And the veil was rent.

Now there was an earthquake when Jesus died. Will there be an earthquake when he comes again? Yeah. What does it mean when it says, 'the veil was rent in the temple? What was the purpose of that veil? It separated - yeah, it separated the holy place from the most holy. Matter of fact, if you look in 2 Chronicles 3:14, he, Solomon, made the veil - this is in the permanent temple - of blue, purple, crimson, fine linen, and wove cherubim into it. It was a very large, thick curtain.

One person said it was as thick as a man's hand is wide. And so, for it to tear, it wasn't like, you know, this thin muslin cloth that suddenly just ripped because it was moldy and a wind went through, this was a supernatural shredding that took place that was accomplished by God - symbolizing what? All the temple was built around the sacrificing of lambs. Now the lamb of God was dying outside the city. He was the fulfillment of all that it pointed to. Do we have another temple still? You remember, Jesus said, 'destroy this temple made of hands; I will make one without hands.

' And he spoke of his body. So, when he died on the cross and said, 'it is finished', he completed the purpose of the types in the temple. We don't need to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem. We don't need to sacrifice lambs anymore. The temple veil was torn and, you know what else was torn? Do you remember when the high priest became outraged during the trial of Christ? It says he tore his robes.

So the robes of the priest were torn because we have a new priesthood now. Christ is our high priest and we are a nation of Kings and priests. And - new temple - you are the temple of God, the Bible says. You are living stones in that temple. Christ is a cornerstone.

And so that old system - and, you know, I love and respect my brothers and sisters out there that have a strong burden for the feast days. If some people say, you know, 'I would like to enter into some of the symbolism of what happened during the Jewish feasts, I have no burden to change their mind. Paul says, in Romans 14, 'if a man regards a day unto the Lord, let him regard it to the Lord. If he doesn't - to the Lord, he does not regard it.' That's what he's talking about in Romans. He's not talking about Christmas - maybe he is talking about Christmas later.

Ignore that last statement, you don't know what I'm thinking. But he's not talking about the Sabbath when he says, in Romans , 'one man regards a day unto the Lord and another man doesn't regard it.' It's interesting. I've never heard a Sunday-keeping pastor tell his congregation that regarding Sunday. If you want to regard it to the Lord, go ahead. If you don't, it doesn't matter.

' They don't ever say that. They only mention it when they hear the Sabbath. Paul was talking about the religious feasts. And if a person has a burden to do that, I just don't find any command in the Bible that you can use to impose that on other people. The Bible says Christ is our passover.

All of the annual feasts all came after sin; Sabbath came before. The annual Sabbaths came after sin. The Sabbath of the week came before sin. It's part of God's perfect plan. We'll continue to keep it in heaven, right? From week to week, from Sabbath to Sabbath.

So, to go around and tell everybody they've got to keep the feasts - the veil in the temple has been torn. There are spiritual things we can learn from the Jewish feasts, but we're not going to Jerusalem anymore, three times a year. We're not going to be sacrificing lambs. The Bible's clear about circumcision. If you try to put that whole law on people, this is what Paul is talking about in Galatians.

It says you're neglecting the Gospel now and you're going back to those old ceremonies. So I - alright, you all know how I feel now. Alright, let's - someone's going to read Ephesians 4:7 - go ahead, katrina. Tell you what, I didn't give them a chance. Let me read something else.

I'm going to read Matthew chapter 27:54, while they get ready for you. "So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly saying, 'truly, this was The Son of God.'" Now, the soldier - isn't it interesting? Who were they that are giving testimony to Jesus at his crucifixion? It's not Peter, James, and John, it's a thief and a roman soldier. It's two gentiles. And within a generation there would be more gentiles in the church than there would be jews. Alright, go ahead, Ephesians 4:7.

"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore he says: 'when he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.'" Who is the captivity he led captive when he ascended? It says 'after the resurrection, those graves that had been opened, the saints came out, they briefly appeared to people in the city, and when Christ ascended to heaven, they ascended with him. Now, which ascension are they talking about? Jesus ascended the same day - remember when mary grabbed his feet and he said 'do not detain me, I've not yet ascended to my father.'? And then Jesus ascended permanently 40 days later, just before pentecost. They're talking about the first ascension - is when he ascended. And so, that's when these saints ascended with him.

He bore captivity captive. This was like a first fruits he brought to heaven. Alright, now we're going to read about the risen Christ. Matthew 28, verse 1 - now, it must have been a very tough Sabbath for the believers because they're just totally dejected. "Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn," - very clear - when is the first day of the week? After the Sabbath.

Jesus rose on Sunday. Jesus kept the Sabbath even in his death. Isn't that amazing? He rested in the tomb through Sabbath. After the Sabbath he rises. "After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, mary magdalene and the other mary" - mary, the wife of cleophas - "came to see the tomb.

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven," - now, this is a different earthquake. The other earthquake was Friday afternoon. Now you've got one Sunday. Is it a little earthquake? It's a great earthquake. What are people in the city calling it? Aftershock from the first earthquake.

Isn't that what geologists would call it today - if you have another big earthquake you'd say, 'that was a big aftershock.' "There was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it." - As if to say, 'no one's putting it back.' He was daring anyone - "his countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, 'do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead, and indeed he is going before you into Galilee; there you will see him. Behold, I have told you.'" So they go - evidently, the women divide and they go into two different groups - two different places. Mary goes and she finds Peter and John. The other women, that included his mother, they go and they find some of the other ten apostles and - well, I guess that'd be another eight or nine of them - because Judas has killed himself at this point. And, while the women are going, there's another appearance, if you read in the other Gospels where they talk to him as well.

And mary comes back with Peter and John. They go in the tomb, they see everything's empty. The cloth is folded. They run off. Mary stays there and Jesus appears then later to mary, alone.

And so, because she's the one who keeps coming and she keeps staying there at the tomb, and that he is risen. How important is the resurrection to our faith? Anyone here terminal? I see a couple of doctors nodding their heads. They understand what I'm saying. You know, life is terminal. Unless you live and remain until Christ's coming - it's like they say, 'if you live long enough, you'll die.

' And the - you'll get sick or you'll have an accident, and when we say someone is terminal, it means that their time is being cut much shorter. You remember, once Isaiah came to hezekiah and said, 'I've got bad news. You're terminal. Get your house in order.' And he cried and he wept, and God felt sorry for him. He came back and he said, 'well, I've got good news and I've got bad news.

Hezekiah said - this is doug's version - hezekiah said, 'what's the good news?' He said, 'God's going to give you another 15 years.' He said, 'oh, praise the Lord. What's the bad news?' He said, 'you're still terminal.' Now, sometimes the doctors say you've got six months, sometimes they say you've got a year. Well, Isaiah came and said, 'you've got 15 years.' He'd probably feel a lot better - the doctor said, 'look, I've got bad news, you're terminal. You've only got 900 years, like adam. But if you were adam, you're supposed to live forever.

, That was a really bad report from the doctor. How did I get on that? Oh yeah, if it wasn't for Jesus, then the grave would be hopeless. But, because of the resurrection, we have hope. Corinthians 15, verse 14, "and if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty." We may as well all just pack it up and go home. "If, in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

" Someone's going to read Corinthians 6:14. Is that right? Yeah, go ahead. "And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his power." That's a short verse, but that's really good. It's basically saying the same God that raised up Jesus is going to raise us up by the same power. the Lord spoke, he came out of the body - out of the grave with a glorified body, and he will do the same for us.

Alright, let's go to Matthew 28, verse 16, and we'll read through the end. And it talks here about - yeah, let me see here - "then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted." You know, at one time it says he met with 500 at one time, after his resurrection. We don't know exactly what meeting that was. "And when they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

" And they said, 'could this be him?' - You're also wondering if this is referring to when thomas doubted - "and Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father, and of The Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Well, this is really good news. Jesus is alive - now has he retracted his promise that he's with us always? That hasn't changed. Did he send the Holy Spirit like he said he would? He said he's got all authority. You know, you look in your lesson, it gives us Daniel 7:13, "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, one like The Son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Then to him" - The Son of man - who is The Son of man? It's Jesus - "then to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed." So Christ has all the authority of God. For he is God The Son. And so, if you're obeying the orders of the King, you have the King's authority behind you, don't you? And that's a reason why you don't ever have to be ashamed. And then he said, 'look, I'm with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Or it says here, 'the end of the age.' I think it was David livingstone that said, when asked, 'are you never afraid?' As many times as he was going across africa when it was pretty wild and primitive, David livingstone was attacked by a lion and survived. Not too many people beside he and Daniel can say that - and Daniel wasn't even attacked. And several times, livingstone, when he was out there, he was mostly doing mission work and exploring. He was threatened frequently for entering new territory and you could hear the drums and the natives carrying on all night long and they said they were going to attack him at any moment and people said, 'aren't you afraid?' He said, 'no.' He said, 'I've been told to go into all the world and the Lord said, 'I am with you wherever you go' and that's the promise of a gentleman and he is with me. I have nothing to be afraid of.

And if I die doing what he's told me to do' - and he didn't die from any violent act, he died as he got old, from malaria. But he had faith. We don't have to worry if God is with us. Amen? What has the Lord told us to do when we go? He said go where? Everywhere. Go into all the world.

And do what? Preach and teach and baptize. Now, do you just baptize them and leave them, or is there teaching that comes afterward? Notice what it says here: 'go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.' Is making disciples the same as just preaching? No. That means be teaching them - go do with others what Jesus did with the twelve. How did Jesus make disciples? Did he just preach to the apostles and walk away, or did he spend time with them, taught them, help them as they made mistakes, guided them, when they had questions he answered them, and - that's called discipling. You're helping a person.

You're teaching them how to really learn a new way of life. 'Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations and, after they're made disciples, baptizing them' - sometimes we baptize people before they're committed as disciples. Baptizing them in the name of The Father and The Son and the Holy Spirit. Now there's been quite a bit made out of this. When we baptize, what baptize do we name - do we - what name do we baptize in? Father, son, and Holy Spirit.

Where else in the Bible does it say baptize in the name of the father, son, and Holy Spirit? This is the only place. And so, a lot of our charismatic friends - there's some people from the apostolic pentecostal church - Jesus only - the oneness pentecostal - a number of churches they say, 'you're not really baptized if you're baptized in the name of the father, son, and Holy Spirit, because they don't believe in the trinity and they say if you do that, it's a corrupt baptism, because if you go to acts it says, 'baptize in the name of the Lord, Jesus.' 'Baptize in the name of the Lord.' But I think you've got your bases covered. You know, what we frequently do here is we say, 'we baptize you in the name of The Father, in the name of his son Jesus Christ, in the name of the Holy Spirit.' Cover it all. But the statement here in Matthew is valid and that's what we follow. It's certainly not wrong to baptize in the name of the Lord Jesus, but we may as well cover all - the name of The Father, son, and Holy Spirit.

And after baptism, teaching's done, right? No more teaching after baptism? You notice it says teaching also, afterwards. Teaching them what? Teaching them to observe some things? All. All things. Teaching them to observe - how much of the Gospel are we supposed to teach? All. Paul says, 'I've not neglected to declare unto you all of the oracles of God.

Teaching all things that I've commanded you.' How many commandments are we supposed to teach? All the commandments. 'And lo, I am with you' - how often? Always. Always. He's got all authority. We're to go into all the world.

We're to teach all things. And he says, 'I'm with you always.' Isn't that great? 'Even to the end of the world I'm with you right to the end.' Even though you don't feel it and you may not always sense it, he says, 'I'm there with you.' That's good news. Can you say 'amen'? Amen. Hey, you know what? We got through the lesson. Praise the Lord.

And I've got a minute to spare to tell our friends one more time about the free offer. It's called - if you send in, it's free - we'll send you - or just call in, we'll send you this - it's called the final verdict and talks about the Gospel and judgment and salvation. -788-3966. You'll enjoy this, it really will encourage you. That's 866-study-more.

Please ask for offer #162 when you do call in. You could also just go to the Amazing Facts website. I think you can download it for free there at God bless you, friends, until we study His Word together again next week. Friends, we're out here in the pacific ocean not too far from the island of fiji, and we're getting ready to look at some wonders in the deep.

The Bible says God made the heaven and the earth and the sea. And there are things under the sea that are beautiful that many people have never seen. Some folks might just skim along - snorkel on the surface, but if you want to see the real majesty of the ocean, you've got to go deeper. (Lively music) because people don't have gills like fish, we have to do something extraordinary to breathe below the surface. Because you have to breathe all the time, we need this special equipment.

(Sound of breathing apparatus) in the same way, the Bible says a Christian needs to pray without ceasing. We need to always be breathing the atmosphere of heaven if we're going to live a Christian life in this world below. Wow, what a wonderful world. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming, visit the Amazing Facts media library at ''. At 'aftv.

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