Some Incredible Things Happened At The Time Of Christ’s Death!
“Now from the sixth hour (12 noon) there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (3 p.m.)” (Matthew 27:45).
Jesus had been nailed to the cross earlier with the soldiers dividing His garments and with many, including the chief priests, scribes, and elders of Israel, reviling and mocking Him, and saying, “If You be the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
The three hours of darkness were brought on by God, the Father, so that He would not look upon Jesus, His Son, while He suffered on the cross paying the sin debt owed by all of us. The Lord had lived a perfect life and was guilty of nothing, but He took our sin upon Him as the following verse tells us:
“For He (God the Father) has made Him (Christ) to be sin (the sin offering) for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The three-hour period was between the sixth and the ninth hour (12 noon to 3 PM). The evening sacrifice offered each day was offered at 3 p.m. – the time of Jesus’ death. He was fulfilling what all the sacrifices offered each day represented. He was, as John the Baptist proclaimed, “The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” The Bible says this about the “ninth hour:”
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Jesus was acknowledging that, for the first time, His Father didn’t deliver Him as Jesus knew He couldn’t. Had the Father delivered Him; the sin debt would not have been paid for our redemption. So, while those watching this terrible event mocked the Lord and called for Him to come down from the cross; Jesus was paying the price for the sin of the very ones who mocked Him. I see the three hours of darkness as a sign to all those there that day that something of epic proportions was taking place on that hill called Calvary. We see, and the Lord Jesus saw; His Father’s sorrow and love for Him in bringing about that darkness that hid His face from His Only Begotten Son while He bore our burden.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His Spirit” (Mathew 27:50).
Jesus freely laid down His life. His cry with a loud voice tells us that he did not die from weakness but laid down His life when the Holy Spirit told Him to do so as the following verse tells us:
“…Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God” (Hebrews 9:14).
So, God brought three hours of darkness while Jesus paid the sin debt and died. At His death, some incredible things took place. The veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom and the Bible says after the veil rent, “the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (an earthquake).” The veil hid the Holy of Holies and according to Josephus the Jewish historian of the time, it was sixty feet high and was four inches thick. According to Josephus, it was so strong that “four yoke of oxen could not pull it apart.” So, this was something only God could have accomplished; But why? It signified that the price for our redemption was completely paid at the cross. The way to a relationship with God was opened to all who would come by way of repentance and faith in what Jesus accomplished at Calvary.
Another incredible thing took place after the death and resurrection of the Lord. The following verse explains this happening:
“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the Saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city (Jerusalem), and appeared to many” Matthew 27:52,53).
Prior to the cross, all those who died in the Lord (believers) went to Paradise because the sin debt had not been paid. Since the cross, at death, all believers go to be with Christ. At the Lord’s resurrection, all those in Paradise left and went to Heaven, some apparently stopping over in Jerusalem on their way.
The religious leaders of Israel, after seeing all that happened at this time, still rejected Jesus as their Messiah. It’s quite interesting to read the reaction of the centurion and those who were with him to all that had taken place at the cross. Tradition says that the centurion’s name was Longinus and that he became a follower of Christ. The following verse relates the testimony of the centurion and those with him:
“Now when the centurion, and they who were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the of Son of God” (Matthew 27:54).
The death of Jesus was accompanied by signs from the Father showing all that Jesus was Who He said He was, and, that by His death on the cross, the price had been paid for the sin of mankind. There were many witnesses to His earthly ministry and His death and His resurrection. The Jewish leaders asked Him for a sign during the time of His earthly ministry, even though He spoke like no other man, and He healed all those that came to Him. And even His death on the cross with the accompanying signs from the Father did not cause them to believe.
However, many at the time of His earthly ministry believed in Him. A decision on Who Jesus is and what His death on the cross meant has to be made by all. If we do not accept the Lord and His great sacrifice on the cross in our own lives, then we have by default already rejected Him. He gives us no other choice in the matter. We must decide Who this Jesus is, and the decision we make will affect us for eternity. Jesus made the Way abundantly clear in the following verses:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He who believes on Me has Everlasting Life”
“I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat this bread, he shall live forever: and the Bread that I will give is My Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:47,51).
Jesus said the following to the religious leaders of Israel, and will be the same for all those that reject Him:
“I said therefore unto you, that you will die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
The death of Jesus was a day that the Old Testament pointed to and that the New Testament looks back on. It is what the Bible is all about – the redemption of mankind. It took the Lord of glory leaving Heaven, becoming the God/Man, and dying on a cruel cross to bring this about. This cannot be ignored, or be taken lightly. The Lord won’t allow it. A decision on just who Jesus is must be made by all! Jesus asked His Disciples this question during his earthly ministry:
He (Jesus) said unto them (His Disciples) But whom say you that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:15,16).
The Lord asks us all the very same question!!! There are only two ways to go. We can go His way and spend eternity in His presence, or we can go any other way which will result in us “dying in our sins.” The Lord has done all He can do. He paid the price to redeem us at the cross and has given us His Word to show us the Way. Through His Word, He reaches out in mercy and grace to all that will hear.
“For whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
See The A,B,C,s of Salvation page on this website (link below).
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Here I Am, Lord – Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2022