Advent, Day 18 – The Cross

For three hours, beginning at noon, darkness came over the earth. And at three o’clock Jesus shouted with a mighty voice in Aramaic, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” – that is, “My God, My God, why have you deserted me?” Some who were standing near the cross misunderstood and said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” One bystander ran and got a sponge, soaked it with sour wine, then put it on a stick and held it up for Jesus to drink. But the rest said, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to rescue him.”

Jesus passionately cried out, took his last breath, and gave up his spirit.

At that moment the veil in the Holy of Holies was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth shook violently, rocks were split apart, and graves were opened. Then many of the holy ones who had died were brought back to life and came out of their graves. And after Jesus’ resurrection, they were plainly seen by many people walking in Jerusalem.

Now, when the Roman military officer and his soldiers witnessed what was happening and felt the powerful earthquake, they were extremely terrified. They said, “There is no doubt, this man was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:45-54)

This Christmas as we celebrate His birth, remember also the powerful sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf.

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