• For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream ...

    • Jeremiah 17:8

    • The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

    • Psalm 18:2

The Ten Signs at the Cross

 
 

The sanctified signature of the Creator surfaced once again with His autograph of love, a relentless appeal for all men to come to salvation.  And this call persists, despite the mistreatments and insults on the person of the Messiah. Oxymoronically, Yeshua’s attempts to bring those  to a  saving knowledge increased as His  own suffering increased. As Yeshua was dying on the cross a series of miracles occurred in the city of Jerusalem. Even at the time of His greatest suffering and in death itself, His pursuit and purpose did not lose foresight, and these signs at the crucifixion prove it.

Matthew 27:45, 50-53 records six of these ten powerful signs: darkness, the tearing of the temple veil, the earthquake, rocks splitting, graves opening and the risen saints appearing to many. God triggered an upheaval in Jerusalem to waken the people to the fact that the most important event in the history of man had begun; the death and resurrection of the Messiah. These supernatural signs are not only repeated appeals for salvation, but warnings for those who would refuse the call of God. Four of these signs are a foreshadowing of what will occur in the end of times, during the Tribulation.

The first sign, darkness, took place while Yeshua was still on the cross. This was not a simple solar eclipse, which according to astronomers can last up to a maximum of 7 ½  minutes. This darkness lasted three hours! It was as great a miracle as the one we read about in  Joshua 10:13, “the sun stood still, and the moon stopped”. Another major black out on earth will come just before Yeshua’s return as stated in Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken”.

We have the choice either to understand and accept the darkness at the cross, which brings salvation or to choose the darkness at the Second Coming when Jesus will judge those who have refused the truth of the Scriptures.

The second sign, the tearing of the temple veil, is found in Matthew 27:51.  This sign appears to have been given to the religious leaders who were responsible for the rejection of the Messiah. When the veil was torn, it marked a temporary stop to their priesthood because theologically, they were now out of work. Veil in Hebrew means covering, or a hiding: its function then was to keep sinful man away from the holiness of God. The death of Jesus put an end to this separation, for He became, from then on, the High Priest. The tearing of the veil is noteworthy especially when we consider that Caiaphas, the High Priest at that time, tore his garment when he condemned the heavenly High Priest. Now the Messiah Yeshua tears the temple veil to put an end to Caiaphas’ earthly office.

The third sign was the earthquake. Scripture mentions seven earthquakes, most of them associated with fire, fleeing or fear on the part of the people. But Scripture is silent concerning this particular earthquake. It does not appears to cause fear, fleeing or death because the wrath of God was poured out on Yeshua alone Who became sin for us and paid the penalty on our behalf by His death on the cross. During the Tribulation, there will be devastating earthquakes. In Revelation 16, John writes that the earthquake will be so strong “as had not occurred since men were on the earth.”

Again, a choice was given. Will you put your trust in the atonement of Yeshua, or will you shoulder the wrath of God?

The fourth sign was the splitting of the rocks. What is the “end times” connection here? The prophet Isaiah speaks of the Great Tribulation when he writes : “They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily. Isaiah 2:19.

Here we have both earthquake and rocks splitting, causing fearful people living in the Tribulation to hide. But when the Son comes to judge, they will hide in vain as it says in Revelation 6:16 “to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb’” One may either receive Yeshua at the cross as his Savior or at the Second Coming as his Judge.

The fifth and sixth signs are astonishing. Matthew 27:52-53 says that the tombs were opened at the death of Yeshua but that the bodies were raised after His resurrection. The tombs were opened on Friday, the day of Yeshua’s death on the tree, and they stayed opened until Saturday after sundown, when at the start of the first day of the week, the bodies were raised. Now here lies the great irony.

The religious leaders were in a hurry to get the three bodies off the crosses in order to avoid desecrating the Sabbath. But at the very same time tombs were opened, which, according to their understanding desecrated the sanctity of burial. It is quite possible that the religious leaders noticed the open graves but were unable to do anything about it because it was the Sabbath. But once Sabbath ended and they came to sanctify the burial ground by covering the tombs, the bodies were already gone.  The open tombs served as a sign that consecration and holiness cannot exist without God.  The Son of God had just been crucified. They were driven to keep the Sabbath consecrated and holy, rather than consecrating the Holy One.

Four signs from the Talmud

These six signs point to the coming judgment, and what will happen if Yeshua is not our atonement. Furthermore, we learn about four more signs, not from Scripture but from the Talmud, which is a collection of writings constituting Jewish civil and religious law. We witness the faithful love of God as He made sure that even their own books would recognize this historical event.

The first is the sign of the Azazel. On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, it was Jewish custom for the priest to tie a red ribbon around the neck of the Azazel goat, the scapegoat. The Talmud reports that as the live goat was sent out into the wilderness, the red ribbon would miraculously turn white, confirming that God had forgiven Israel’s sins for that year.

This tradition continued year after year until, according to the Talmud, the ribbon stopped turning white. In the Talmud, from the Book of YOMA 39;b it says, “Our Rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple… the crimson-coloured strap[did not] become white”. The Talmud testifies and confirms that 40 years before the destruction of the temple (the time of Yeshua’s death and resurrection), their ritual ceased to function.

The second sign is the westernmost light. This is the light of the candlestick that was in the Temple at the door of the Most Holy Place. According to the Talmudic passage from Shab. 22b the lit candlestick was a testimony of the divine presence, as a sign that the Shechinah (God’s glory) rested over Israel. This lamp, called Ner Elohim, was left burning all day and was refilled in the evening. It served to light the other lamps. It contained no more oil than the other lamps, yet by a “miracle” that lamp regularly burned till the following evening (ib. 86b). This miracle, the Talmud says, ceased after the death of Simeon the Righteous, who was high priest forty years before the destruction of the Temple (Yoma 39b). Why did this Talmudic miracle stop? Let those who read the Talmud ask that same question.

The third sign was the doors of the Hekal (of the Temple) which would open by themselves. These doors were made of brass and were said to be so heavy that it took 20 men to open and close them. Yet, the Talmud reports that from around 30 AD, the doors of the Temple were closing and opening by themselves.  What must those who read the Talmud think?

The fourth sign comes at the time of the crucifixion. It is reported in the Talmud Sanhedrin E that: “Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the Sanhedrin was exiled and took up residence in Hanuth”. The Sanhedrin gathered for many years at a place built into the north wall of the Temple Mount. They were forced out of the Temple Mount, to Hanuth. This reminds us of the vendors who were chased away from the Temple by the Messiah.

All these signs are quite extraordinary.  Not only do the Scriptures testify of these signs from the cross, but even the Talmud points to very specific signs around this time period. God, in His grace, uses all that is necessary to bring about the salvation of His people.

Note: Pastor J.I. Gabizon has found 4 more signs and they will be listed at a later date.

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