God tells us many things through His Word, but He also leaves room for us to discover more and more about Him.
It is easy to believe we know all there is to know about The Easter Story. When we hear the “old, old story” told in the same way all the time, we may not go back and read it again. We may miss new revelations.
Such is the case with the story of Jesus’ Crucifixion. We may leave Jesus’ lifeless body hanging on the cross until He is mercifully cut down and taken to the tomb. But, did it really happen that way?
Let’s look again. To begin, let’s look at the insults that were hurled at Jesus as He hung on the cross.
“Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’
“In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.
‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
Notice they were all taunting Jesus to come down from the cross. Did He?
When we hear “Jesus gave up His Spirit, “ we sometimes interpret that to mean He just gave up on having an earthly life. But when Jesus “gave up” His Spirit, He was connecting with The Full Power of The Three in One.
And then Jesus released The Holy Spirit of God in all its Power and Authority. What happened next?
“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.
“The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.”
Mike Mason in his writings about the rock upon which Jesus’ cross was anchored, describes what has been found about that rock at Calvary.
At The Church of the Holy Sepulcher,
“Visitors can reach their hands into the hole and touch the rock of Calvary below. The bone-colored limestone is also visible, behind glass, on either side of the altar.
“… the rock is cracked—perhaps evidence of earthquake activity, which accords with the gospel report that at the moment of Jesus’ death ‘the earth shook and the rocks split’. (Matthew 27:51).
“It is even possible that the crosses were wedged into such fissures, for as the northern extension of the Rift Valley, Israel has been subject to recurrent earthquakes (see Ps 46:2). “
From “The Rock of Calvary”(Chapter 61 of Jesus: His Story in Stone)” posted March 22, 2016.
When the earth shook and the rocks split, it is likely the crosses would have fallen.
Yet, we often see pictures that depict someone climbing up to a still standing cross to take Jesus’ Body down.
While it is not explicitly stated what happened to the crosses, I believe that the “hidden message” of Easter might have been the one that was dramatically revealed to everyone that day.
Satan’s instrument of torture was literally thrown down and God Himself was raised in Power and Majesty, just as Jesus had foretold.
When Jesus was praised on His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Pharisees told Him to quiet the people.
Jesus responded, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
On the day of Jesus’ Crucifixion, the rocks, the stones, the very earth cried out. And in the midst of the chorus, mere men cried out too.
“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!’”
It is Easter. The cross has fallen! God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit are alive and very present in us. Rejoice!