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Thursday July 26 – The graves were opened

The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised…
– Matthew 27:52-53

Scripture reading: Matthew 27:45-56

Christ’s death on the cross was an earth-quaking event, shaking the foundations of the earth, but also breaking up the old effects of sin, even making an end to death. We can see the significance of the moment Christ yielded up His spirit! In the temple, the veil was rent from top to bottom, God making an end to Old Testament worship and establishing New Testament communion with those who seek their life in Christ. God was going to make all things new! He also signified this by the resurrection of those who had died and appeared in the city as evidence of Christ’s resurrection and its powerful effect of the restoration of life!

Not everyone was raised, not even all the saints; yet, there were those, who belonged to Jesus before their death, who were raised to announce the beginnings of new life and of the resurrection from the dead of those who belonged to Jesus! They were a living testimony that Jesus, with His death, had conquered death. Christ was the first-born of the dead and their resurrection was a fruit of Christ’s resurrection. Christ’s death was not only earth quaking, it also shook up the realm of the dead. Those who belong to Jesus will live, though they still have to die (to sin); they will live and reign with Christ forever. They share in the first resurrection, even though their bodies are resting in the earth. What great incentive for our sanctification today, for the renewal of life, as the beginning of eternal life!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for a new heart, a new life and for the help of the Holy Spirit in our daily sanctification. Ask for comfort and strength if you are living with the empty place of a loved one who has died.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. William den Hollander (Sr.) is minister-emeritus of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church of Toronto.

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