June 18, 2022

Beautiful Death

Matthew 27:45-54

[Jesus] gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

—  Matthew 27:50-51

You might wonder why the title of this meditation is “Beau­tiful Death.” The Bible affirms life, so how could any death be considered beautiful?

But, in a way, this title is similar to the name “Good Friday,” which we use to refer to the day of Jesus’ death. In some ways that day was not good at all. We mourn the death of Jesus, and we regret the sin that caused him to die. But in other ways the day has been very good indeed. The death of Jesus is good news for the world, because in his death Jesus tore down the barrier between God and sinful humanity. Now we can be united with God because of Jesus’ death. So we can say that the death of Jesus was beautiful.

The book of Matthew adds that at the moment of Jesus’ death, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” That curtain barred the way to the holiest room in the temple. It represented the separation between the holy God and his sinful people. But because of Jesus’ death, the curtain was not needed anymore. People could be united with God again. God loved the world so much that he sent Jesus to die, uniting us with himself again—and that is beautiful!

Lord Jesus, we praise you for your great love, shown by your death for all who believe in you. Thank you for your beautiful death, which unites us with God again. Amen.

About the author — Rebecca Jordan Heys

Rebecca Jordan Heys serves as a pastor at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, are the parents of two children.

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