In this passage, Jesus cries out with a loud voice and gives up his spirit, indicating his death on the cross. At that moment, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom, and there was an earthquake and the rocks split apart.
The tearing of the temple veil was a significant event, as it signified the opening of the way to God for all people. The temple veil separated the Holy of Holies, where God's presence was believed to dwell, from the rest of the temple. Only the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and that only once a year, on the Day of Atonement. The tearing of the veil symbolized that the way to God was now open to everyone through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. As the author of Hebrews explains, "Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body" (Hebrews 10:19-20).
The earthquake and splitting of the rocks also served as a powerful sign of the momentous event that had just taken place. The death of Jesus was no ordinary death, but rather a cosmic event that shook the very foundations of the earth. The earth itself seemed to respond to the death of its Creator, as the author of Hebrews notes: "At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain" (Hebrews 12:26-27).
In addition to the physical signs that accompanied Jesus' death, there are also significant theological implications to consider. The tearing of the temple veil, the earthquake, and the splitting of the rocks all signify the profound significance of Jesus' death on the cross. The veil that separated humanity from God had been torn, and the way was now open for all people to approach God through faith in Jesus Christ. The earthquake and the splitting of the rocks symbolize the cosmic impact of Jesus' death, as it shook the very foundations of the earth and signaled a new era in human history.
In conclusion, Matthew 27:50-51 describes the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and the significant signs that accompanied it. The tearing of the temple veil symbolizes the opening of the way to God for all people through the sacrifice of Jesus, while the earthquake and splitting of the rocks signify the cosmic impact of Jesus' death on the entire created order. These events demonstrate the profound significance of Jesus' death and its transformative power for all who put their faith in him.
Matthew 27:50-51. Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit. Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.