Matthew 27:50-56

50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

54 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!”

55 And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar,

56 among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

cried out again (v.50) — probably “It is finished” (John 19:30)

yielded up His spirit (v.50) = lit. “He sent His spirit away” — He died willingly, voluntarily, of His own will. (Luke 23:46; John 10:18).

veil (v.51) — the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies (Exodus 26:31). This indicated that man now had direct access to God through Christ. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-21).

The veil itself was the sign that man was barred from coming to God; that heavy, solid veil, ever gave that testimony that it is impossible for man to approach God. The rent veil shows that it has been made possible. The rent veil declares that the great sacrifice on the cross of the spotless Lamb of God has been accepted. It is the first great answer of God to the majestic word of the dying Savior, “It is finished.” It likewise shows that the Jewish ceremonial law is fulfilled and ended. — Gaebelein, page 604.

saints (v.52) — As a careful reading of this account reveals, the raising of the bodies of the saints, although mentioned here, actually occurred after the resurrection of Jesus. This event is nowhere explained in the Scriptures but seems to be a fulfillment of the feast of the first fruits of harvest mentioned in Leviticus 23:10-14. On that occasion, as a token of the coming harvest, the people would bring a handful of grain to the priest. The resurrection of these saints, occurring after Jesus Himself was raised, is a token of the coming harvest when all the saints will be raised. — Walvoord, pages 235-236.

I did notice that verse 52 says “many” of the saints, not “all.”

centurion (v.54) — the Roman soldier who was in charge of the squad who were guarding the hill at the time of the crucifixion.

the Son of God (v.54) — We aren’t told if this is a statement of the Centurion’s faith. He literally said “a” son of God, so it may just have been recognition that Jesus was something more than a man.

Mary the mother of James and Joses (v.56) — the wife of Clopas (John 19:25)

mother of Zebedee’s sons (v.56) — Salome (Mark 15:40) — perhaps a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus

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