Tears, Death, Resurrection of Jesus, and the great revival

by Church Times

By John Abiola

Global day of prayer, fasting, and repentance for worldwide revival will be held on Friday, 29th of March, 2024. Be part of this annual event where thousands and millions of believers in Christ globally across denominations would lift their voices in prayer unto God.

50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 – And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 – And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 – And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
54 – Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.


Let’s look at the significance of the tears and death of Jesus. I will explain some principal key verses on the death of Jesus on the cross from Mathew 26. Verse 46 of that chapter opens our minds to the agonizing cry of Jesus and its significance.
1. Jesus’ cry resulted from the burden of humanity’s sin right from Adam. His cry was that of anguish and excruciating pain. More than this was the pain of the abandonment of the son by the Father.
This sheds light on our understanding of the credibility of Christ carrying the weight of sin all on himself. Scriptures say ‘He became sin’, And becoming sin, suggests a metaphorical statement, which implies that the sin of humanity was upon Jesus.
Jesus did not carry the few sins we can mention, nay! What He did was a destruction of sin’s power via his body. Hence He so carried the entirety of sin (sin and all its attributes) that in the process He became (turned into) the realistic image of sin totally, so that the whole attributes and power of sin can be once and for all destroyed.
Oh! It was because of this battle against sin that the Father whom scripture says is too Holy to behold iniquity deserted him. Jesus did not complain about the weight of sin, yes it was excruciating pain He endured, rather He cried “My, My God, My God why hast thou forsaken ( to desert, abandon) me”.
The Greek word says ‘egkataleipo’  which means to forsake or leave. His cry was that of loneliness in the battle against sin. This reveals that Jesus’ battle with sin was on Him alone.

Why forsake me?

Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane cried out to God to take “this cup” from him to show the intensity of what he was experiencing. Jesus that was one with the Father. But once the sin of the world was laid on him and the father had to distance himself from him, he cried saying: “Ps.22.1 – My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? ” .2Cor.5.21 – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”.
So, Gal.3.13-14 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree:
14 – That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”.
Verse 51 speaks of the physical manifestation of what happened in the spiritual, where the victory was gained and the battle held.
The whole curtain represents the wall of sin that blocked our access to God. The division and partitioning were the direct epitome of what happened between man and God.
The result of this partitioning is access granted. There was the release of God’s mercy, the forgiveness of sin, and ushering of His presence and power. The relationship and intimacy with man and dominion over the devil which were lost by the first man, Adam was restored.
Man now has direct access by one Spirit to the Father. “and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent’;  This implies what happened to the hearts of all mankind. All humanity was redeemed, the earthquake was the dispensed outpouring of the effects of the Cross upon the earth. This quake was a shaking caused by the battle in the realm of the spirit on the Cross. It is like the shaking that occurred when  Ezekiel was told to prophesy to dry bones.
It wasn’t Earth, but the residents on Earth, that spoke, the shaking of dead, dry bones that received life and redemption immediately, Jesus died.

The stigma of sin

On that wonderful day on the Cross Jesus defeated the stigma of sin, self, and the old dragon called satan. The shaking was more than the shaking of a few dry bones at the valley where Ezekiel prophesied, this time.
It was the shaking of all the dry, lifeless, and sinful bones that ever existed.  “And the rocks rent”. Rocks here represent the hardened heart of the people, to rent means to divide.  Just as there was a partition of the temple curtain, there was a spiritual partition (division) in the heart of the people Christ died for.
Heb.10:16 – 20 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 – And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 – Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19 – Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 – By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”.
Again, something significant happened in that same spot where Jesus died, in verses 52 & 53, the evident demonstration of the power of Christ’s death to redeem humanity from spiritual deadness played out.
Verses 52 -54 capture something enthralling. The bodies of the saints, who had died and were rotten in the grave were revived and scripture says they appeared unto many. Now here is the light: The revival of the dead bodies of the saints represents the revival in the Church, the body of Christ.
Saints is a term used to identify the people of God, righteous people, predominantly used in the book of Revelations to identify the Church. That is to say that, the first significant event that occurred when Jesus Christ died was the revival of the Church, this was just a physical manifestation of what happened in the realm of the spirit.
The graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose”(v.50) This is the revival of the Church. Isaiah’s prophecy has this to say: Isa.26:19 – “Thy dead men(saints)shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead”.
Hosea’s prophecy in Hos.13:14 – I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
Ps.49:15 – But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me”.
The greatest revival: Truly Jesus is the Son of God.
Matt.27.54 – Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God”.
Amid the eventful signs that occurred while Christ died, “the rent and quaking of the rocks, the division of the temple’s curtain” all were enough signs to attest that Jesus is the Son of God, it was more than a significant phenomenon, more of glaring events.
During the years when Jesus still roamed the Earth, wherever He went, the most demanding question he was asked was “can you give us a sign” to attest to your testimony, a witness, but these people were so blind that they couldn’t see that Jesus had several witnesses to prove He is the Son of God and He was sent by God, even Jesus himself declared severally that if I bear witness of me my testimony remains valid, because the Father remains my witness and we are one and so If I am giving a testimony, I and my father stay together my testimony, hence my testimony remains valid.
They were too blind to recognize that the law and the prophets were always witnesses of Jesus’ testimony. Like that was not enough, John the Baptist was a witness. Still, He witnessed a valid testimony because the Father backed him up with miracles, signs, wonders, and eventful occurrences which were enough witnesses to the credible testimony of Jesus Christ as the son of God.

They were blind

Howbeit, they were blind to a fault, dead bones with no iota of hope -only that of Christ’s death. They were blind egoistic leaders (the Pharisees sect) whom Paul laid claim to being zealous without knowledge. Not only were they blind, they were ignorant of their blindness so there was no hope.
They continued in their blindness up to the unlawful case hearing and trial at Pilate palace, they so continued, now supported by various races of people who one way or the other heard about Jesus of Nazareth, both aged and young, socially low and socially high.
It was going to be a huge and powerful scene, where the self-acclaimed ( only as they thought, because as far as truth is concerned, Jesus was not self-acclaimed, He was backed by God), King of the Jews, the one who had shocked the world, even the terrified uncommitted and yet to be commissioned disciples were present at his trial, not excluding hidden followers of Christ, the likes of Joseph of Arimathea e.t.c were actively present, up to the Journey to Golgotha, his crucifixion spot and locus.
No doubt, Jesus was popular. His fame went abroad immediately after the anointing of the spirit. He became a powerful instrument in God’s hands. Many witnessed the greatest significant event ever in the world.   We see his popularity from the high priest’s palace to that of the Pilate and then to  ‘Golgotha’ where the African, Simon of Cyrene was heavenly forced to help in the carrying of His Cross.
The Crowd multiplied, yet unknown to them, the redemption of the world was a few minutes away. Soon enough, the crucifixion, next the dividing of his garment and mockery, and then the slow loss of breath of our Jesus Christ down to his last cry of redemption’s completion.
I already explained what followed next. However, this was the last and most powerful sign attesting to the testimony of Christ being the Messiah. The onlookers, the thronging crowd witnessing these occurrences, the accusers, and even the two witnesses who gave false accusations.  I suggest all these were all there, witnessing this event.

The declaration

The blind Pharisees and Sadducees with their flowing garment of dignity and temple status were not excluded. The healed leper, blind Bartimaeus who was healed, the disciples, Lazarus, and many others whom Jesus healed, and thousands of onlookers at the place of a skull, gazing at the cross where Jesus’ love-washed face smiled at them.
And then my circumnavigating camera fixes its gaze at the centurion and “they that were with him”. A thronging crowd was with the centurion. The pronoun ‘they’ referred to the mammoth crowd who gathered there.  “watching Jesus, the earthquake and those things that were done”…. and “They feared greatly, saying TRULY THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD” Oh!
What a revival-induced declaration. There were no more doubts, no arguments, no debates, all cleared down encompassingly, the signs were real and apparent, all mammoth crowd witnessed it.
Is it the darkness over the land from the sixth to ninth hour? What a significance to that, or the earthquake? yes, all was real and almost tangible. So real that scripture fulfilled itself, that “If thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart…… Thou shall be saved” Oh! That was the revival.
The centurion and those who were with him were convinced and convicted in their heart that Jesus is the Son of God. But was that enough to attain salvation? Nay! – Rom.10:10 – For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.

Also read: From my prayer room, Jesus’ message to the church: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/prayer-jesus-message-church/

Attaining salvation

The once doubtful, unbelieving centurions, etc. who once cursed and mocked Jesus were declaring Jesus, the son of God. They were just like the house of Isreal at Mount Carmel screaming
‘The Lord alone He is God’. Note that without fore-knowledge of who Jesus( the Cross) is you cannot access salvation. There are stages before salvation, the first is Knowledge, which leads to  Conviction, and then Belief, and Conversion, then Confession.
Those on-lookers all passed through these stages before accessing Salvation at the feet of the Cross. What a wonder!  This was a revival beyond imagination. That was the outpouring of the blood of Jesus on this people. All that were with him declared Jesus was the Son of God.
This was a cross-achieving Revival. Still, that wasn’t all, scripture went further to say that the  “saints appeared unto many” and all those who resurrected at the death of Jesus Christ were appearing unto many.
What were they saying? Revelation from God says they were probably preaching the gospel so through this many believed, they were attesting to the credibility of Christ. What a wonder. No doubt, many believed because of this miracle, I can imagine thousands saved that day and subsequently. It was a revival that certainly went abroad causing traffic of souls being saved, believing in the Sonship of Jesus Christ.

The Roman officers and others

The confession of the Roman officer and many people who were present at Jesus’ crucifixion was, TRULY THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD”. This was the greatest revival in history.
The stony hearts of great multitudes of people, including those who crucified him and watched Jesus die openly confessed Jesus Christ as the son of God, of which they previously denied.
This fulfilled the scripture, John.3:14-20 And as Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 – That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 – For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 – He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 – And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 – For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved”.
The declaration was attestation to the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Finally, we can tell that every revival that ever happened and that would happen would always activate the angry outburst of the kingdom of darkness. Satan might have been terrified so well that Christ’s death not only brought his disgraceful defeat but also brought the immediate release of captives from his grip.
What an immediacy he might not have expected. Never thought his dethronement might be so quick without an awareness. Nevertheless, Satan’s defeat made him go crazier and heart-hardened.
He was so enraged that he upped his game. He rose to quench the revival flames that erupted at the feet of the Cross. It was all fruitless labour. He tried to achieve his schemes by instigating the white garment wearers; the religiously misplaced leaders to guard the grave of Jesus securely so they could stop Jesus from being raised from the dead.
Well, the fate of these grave guardians was that they  “became as dead men”. But then, just as other times Satan did not give up, he went as far as instigating them more to herald false news that Jesus’ resurrection was false, that his proposed disciples stole his body, what was his plan?
He tried to quench the already growing flames, knowing fully that many more would believe If they heard of Jesus’ resurrection, but just as in time past, his efforts were fruitless.
Satan’s defeat was real and apparent, Christ already handed the baton of revival. He already started to the disciples (the Church) for continuance, proliferation, and preservation.
How did He achieve this? Matt.28.18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth.
19 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 – Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Hence the revival wasn’t halted, rather it accrued soundlessly.

Day of Pentecost

On the day of Pentecost alone, 3000 dry bones were revived at a single blast of repentance message. Wasn’t Satan’s defeat glaring? Scriptures say more were added unto the Church, Paul the Apostle was one of them that was added unto the Church, we all know how he shook the world for Christ. Hallelujah!


Today, reports revealed that there are over 5,000 false religions and over six billion people in the world yet to confess that, “TRULY  JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD”.
Also, there are so many Christians, and leaders in the Church still committing fornication with the mother of harlotry and are currently in deep sleep with the world and the devil.
These men need to be transformed to preach about sin and repentance. This change of heart can only happen through a heaven-sent revival.
But revival will not come until we ask God for it and are desperate enough for it. Now that the baton has been handed over to the Church, it is time for us to make use of it as the disciples who turned the world upright for Christ.
It’s time for us to bend our knees and hearts in prayer and fasting for a heaven-sent-down revival that would sweep multitudes into the kingdom of God.
We need to pray for a revival that would reunite the generation’s church more than the early Church, and revive and restore the corn, wine, and oil that the Church lost to the cankerworms.
This can only be achieved through effective, fervent, persistent, and consistent prayer and Intercession for revival. It can only be achieved through identification and confession of sin in the church and the world with fasting that will provoke the move of the Lord’s Spirit and revival.
Apostle James wrote about Elijah’s powerful and fervent prayers that brought a mighty revival upon the nation of Israel, turning the hearts of the people from Idolatry and other sins back to God.
In James 5:16-18 we are told, “The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”…And he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and earth brought forth fruit”.
Understand that the revival under the Greatest Prophet ever in the person of Jesus Christ, or Anna the prophetess, and prophet Simeon were caused by Intercessors who prayed for his coming until their eyes gazed upon the Redeemer of Israel and the world.
Now, is the time for the whole body of Christ to pray down a Heaven-sent revival, one like the revival at the place of Skull where Christ died, uniting revival like the early church, changing revival like the revival at Nineveh. We need to pray for Reformative revival like in King Asa, King Josiah, and repentance revival like Prophet Elijah.
Oh! We need a move that can draw us all to the Cross to look upon Jesus even as the centurion and those who were with him looked and were changed.

Reminder: March 29, 2024, is a Global day of fasting, prayer, and repentance for a worldwide revival.

If you have never participated in this annual event, this is an opportunity to get involved in these prayers for a minimum of one hour, whether you may be in one, two, or more groups, in a prayer room, office, home, church, or gathering, wherever you are on planet earth. Thank you as you join.

John Abiola.
Revive Us Again series 93.

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