“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice…And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.” Matthew 27:45, 50.
On this Friday, I am feeling the emotions of many of the people in Griefshare. One common emotion shared by all in the class is the awareness that as they are suffering the world goes on. Their loved one’s death warranted an hour for a funeral service and a few days of prepared meals. The hard part comes when everyone carries on with their lives.
Today is the day that our Lord and Savior lost His life on the cross. The Bible records that most had deserted Him in those final hours, both disciples and mockers. There were a few who lingered at the base of the cross until He gave up His spirit, and continued to follow His body until His resurrection...but just a few. The rest of the world returned to their life unaware of the enormity of what had just happened.
‘Jesus had been put on the cross at nine o’clock in the morning. Death by crucifixion was slow and excruciating. Then, at noon, darkness settled over the land for three hours…it is clear that God caused it…The darkness on that Friday afternoon was both physical and spiritual. All nature seemed to mourn over the stark tragedy of the death of God’s Son.’ Life Application New Testament Commentary, p. 123. After the chaos and atmosphere of mockery, God sent darkness over all the land for three hours like a veiled widow. Don’t you know that all of heaven looked through her veil at the dark landscape seeing the silhouette of the cross that held their lifeless unblemished Lamb? Where had all the people gone? How could they have just gone back to business as usual? Heaven lost their beloved and nature even mourned.
Today people will flock to the grocery store to prepare Easter Dinner, go shopping for clothes for Easter Sunday, and put together baskets from the Easter bunny. There will be Good Friday Easter sales today and at noon the stores will be bustling. I wish that today at noon darkness would fall over the land like a blanket for a few hours reminding us of what today is really about. We must feel the darkness and honor the sacrifice so we can humbly and fully experience the joy of the miracle. We cannot gloss over the uncomfortable part and skip to the joyful part. Heaven’s beloved deserves more than that.
As we look towards Sunday with joy and celebration, let us stop at noon today and remember how our Savior was all alone on the cross. The torture that He suffered so that you and I could join His family and share His Father warrants our reverence. Then, in a few days, we will celebrate with all of Heaven and sing of the glorious resurrection of the Lamb who brings us eternal life.
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