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Changing what you Believe (5 of 6)

Mike Connell

Then I want you to see something that God did, some things that the Lord did. I want to just draw your attention to three things that were dramatic. The first one here was it says behold or look, this amazing thing. The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; number one. The earth quaked and the rocks were split, and Verse 52, the graves were opened and many of the bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. And the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly saying truly this was the Son of God!

Now God has done something at Calvary for us. Remember when Adam and Eve sinned and fell and they covered themselves and God prophetically showed them that He had a provision for them which one day would come into the earth; it would require Jesus Christ laying down His life. It would require the innocent dying for the guilty. Now I want you to see something, when Jesus surrendered His life He didn't do it with a whimper. Now most people when they die, their voice starts to fade away. Their voice becomes very weak, but twice right at the very end it said Jesus - now you've got to remember He's been tortured, He's been whipped, He's been crucified, hanging in pain for three hours. Now He says with a LOUD voice, He cries out with a LOUD voice. He is actually proclaiming His total victory over what sin has done, His total victory over the power that the devil had held people in bondage, in sickness and shame and death for all of those years. He cries out with a LOUD voice, it is a shout of triumph! It is a shout of victory that He has won and immediately it is answered from heaven.

Now listen, a lot of people shout but there's not many shout and there's an answer from heaven! You have to understand that when Jesus let out a loud shout it was a shout against His enemies. It was a shout of victory, of total victory over sin and shame and sickness, cursing, poverty, everything that could come into [the earth, 00.17.34] everything the devil used to hold man in bondage. He cried out a shout of victory and heaven answered and it answered in three ways. It answered by dramatic bursts of power from heaven into the earth. Jesus' death was not normal. Listen, you've got to imagine - right now at that very time when Jesus died, the High Priest was offering the Passover Lamb, the natural lamb just like the lamb that was slain to give a natural provision for Adam and Eve. Right then he was about just in the process of offering that sacrificial lamb, there was a huge thick curtain that held people back from being able to access the presence of God and suddenly two hands come from heaven, tear it from top to bottom and God has now made that place open! You and I have access freely to God.

Shame stops us being intimate with God. Shame stops us being intimate with people. God removed the veil and said it's now possible wherever you are, you can have access to Me through faith in this thing that Jesus just did on Calvary. You have right to come right in where you could never come before, into the very presence of Almighty God. That is a privilege given to us by that death on the cross. The second thing that happened was it says the earth shook and the rocks were split. That word earth refers to the whole countryside, the very ground on which everyone stood. There was literally a shaking of everything. Remember when Adam fell the earth was also brought into bondage and God shook it. It was shaken so hard by the power of God they couldn't stand up. People fell over on the ground. Whoever was around there that was standing proudly, laughing and mocking at Jesus' death, listen, they would have fallen over because an earthquake that shakes the land and can split open rocks, you can't stand in that.

If you had been here in the earthquake in '31 when the ground shook and things began to split open you couldn't stand. No one could stand. The earth literally shook with the power released. In other words - then the third thing that happened is the graves opened and people rose from the dead when Jesus also rose. By this we have an incredibly clear witness what Jesus did was accepted by God as totally sufficient. Now if you try to make yourself right with God by working hard, reforming, trying to become something by striving, by doing all kinds of things, listen, you will end up just striving and striving and striving. You end up in bondage. Jesus wants us to understand through this that the work He did has provided acceptance for us. Religion means you want to become accepted by God. Religion is man's way of working and doing stuff so I'll be good enough for heaven, so I'll be good enough to be accepted by God, so God will be pleased with me and not be mad with me. That is the core of religion.