August 2

Today's Bible Reading
            Judges 16
            Acts 29
            Jeremiah 29
            Mark 15
            “Then the veil of the temple was tom in two from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, Truly this Man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:38-39)
            It was a dreadful deed, the sin of sins, the crime of crimes, when mortal men murdered their magnificent Maker through the crowning act of evil by Adam 's ruined race. It was at a place we call Calvary, which comes from the Latin; or Golgotha, from the Aramaic. The Hebrews called it ''the place of a skull." Jesus was completing a long journey - from glory to Galilee, to Gethesamane, to Gabbatha, to Golgotha.
            They were all there, Ananias, Caiaphas, Herod, Pilate -their names should be in the hall of shame. The Romans were there -they represented the government. The Greeks were there -they represented culture with all of its scholarship and language skills. The Jews were there - with their Priests, Pharisees, Saducees, Levities, Herodians, zealots, feasts and sacrifices - they represented religion. And the world was there - the Parthians, Medes, Jews, people from Pontus, Asia, the Cretes, Arabians, and people from Asia. The song says, ''Were you there when they crucified our Lord?'' Absolutely - we were all there, represented by the crowd jeering and mocking our Lord. Jesus suffered all the wounds - concussion, laceration, penetration, incision, and perforation, and we were there.
            But, even on that Cross, Jesus was still God, and continued to perform signs, wonders, and miracles from that humiliating place. From the Cross, Jesus touched the stones. (Matthew 27:51) The Bible tells us the earth quaked and rocks were split.
            From the Cross, Jesus touched the sun. (Matthew 27:45) The Scripture tells us there was darkness from the sixth to the ninth hour. That's from noon to three in the afternoon. The sun got up as it had 12,235 times during our Lord 's earthly life. This sun had seen Him cleanse the leper, give sight to the blind, raise the dead, but on this day, the sun watched men murder their Maker. The sky went dark.
            From the Cross Jesus touched the sepulcher. (Matthew 27:52-43) The Scripture tells us that after His Resurrection, many came out of their graves and appeared to many.  His death and Resurrection changed everything.
            From the Cross, He also touched the sanctuary. Our memory verse tells us that the veil was tom in two in the Temple. We know it was tom from the top to the bottom, which meant human hands could not have done it. This veil blocked the entrance to the Holy of Holies, and the presence of God. Now, access was made available TO that holy presence.
            Now we see that, from the Cross, the Son of God touched the soldiers.   These were Roman soldiers and they were afraid of nothing. These were soldiers who backed away from no army. You should picture this soldier who had been assigned to Palestine AND Jerusalem. This was the worst assignment any soldier in the Roman Empire could ever have.
            The first four of these were great miracles, but the greatest was when He touched the soldiers, and He is still doing that today. Has He touched you and changed you forever?
            More than 30 million people live in the Republic of Sudan in Africa. This country is predominantly Muslim, boasting 65% of the population. The Christian church, however, is growing rapidly in the Sudan. Due to the long and terrible warfare in Sudan's civil war, Christians have been scattered all around the country, which has led to a multiplication of congregations in areas of many unreached peoples. The leaders of Sudan have boasted that they are the leaders of the Islamic Revolution in Africa. The world was a long time getting the information that the Islamic government had sanctioned the reinstitution of slavery in the Sudan.  Pray for the severely persecuted believers in the Sudan.