“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour
there was darkness over all the land.”
“It’s such a hard and holy thing (in our minds), when Jesus took it (every sin) by Himself, all the lights went out.” ¹
Perhaps it’s too deep to think on. Perhaps this part of it all, is too much for us as humans to comprehend. Perhaps it’s why we fixate on the physical part of the crucifixion—His death—but we can’t stare at the spiritual part of it.
The Darkest Hours…
The sixth until the ninth.
The world lay in darkness.
Sun, moon, stars gone out.
A holy hush. Silence.
Filled the heavens
as each sin —
past. present. future.—
pressed upon His soul.
Beaten. Scourged (whipped).
Crowned with thorns.
Nailed to a cross.
(What do you think “taking His name in vain”
means to you now?)
Ridiculed. Cloak divided. Sold.
The world lay in darkness
as He hung in the balance
between hell and heaven.
His father. Turns away.
And He dies. Forsaken. Alone.
What a price to pay.
The darkness of sin lay
upon Him. For you. For me.
And you say, “I don’t need Him.”
One day your world will fall away
as you know it.
Where will you be?
Where will your soul hang out
~Marcell Warner Bridges
©17 June 2018
How do we view Jesus’ death?
Satan and the world would have us picture it as a crown of thorns nicely sitting on top of the head of a man with a few lashes, nailed to a cross, his body hanging with strength and dignity.
Oh how I wish we could understand.
Those 39 lashes with metal and bone ripped flesh from His body. That crown on His head-read the Scriptures-after they placed it there, they hit him on the head with a staff. (They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. Matthew 27:30)
Those nails…do you or I even want to imagine?
Beaten. Ridiculed. Spat upon. Nailed to a cross. Unrecognizable. They continued to mock Him as He hung there for everyone to stare at.
Still…there is one agony remaining I think we truly miss.
“How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.”²
In the midst of all this humiliation Jesus somehow has every. single. sin — past, present, and future — cast upon Him. This is why the world went dark. Representing the darkness, blackness, of sin that poured into our Savior.
And when Jesus needed His Father the most, the God of the universe, God of all creation, turned away from Jesus.
Some of you understand this more than I. The pain of loss from betrayal or separation from your earthly father. I know it has seared your soul. Your inner broken being. I’m sure it would mine if I had that happen to me.
While we want to skip over this part and go straight to the gloriousness of Jesus’ resurrection which conquered death, hell, the grave and sin, it is imperative that we do not. Because had it not been for those 3 darkest hours of the world, the resurrection could not have happened. We want to pretend that this is just a part of the salvation experience, yet, I can’t help but wonder. Is this THE most important part of such an experience? If Jesus hadn’t taken those 3 hours to carry our sins, He could not have been buried then risen again.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
Dear friend, His stripes—scourging, lashes and beating that ripped His flesh from His body—do not heal us from our physical ailments. They heal us from our spiritual ailments. Our sins. Our rebellion. Our wickedness.
We are cleansed, redeemed, renewed, hearts made white as snow, when we repent and ask forgiveness so God can look on us and see nothing but the blood of Jesus. It’s His blood that bought and paid for our sins and when we confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord, believe in our hearts that He was raised from the dead, we are saved and we are new people ready to live in eternity with God. (Romans 3:23; Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16; 1 John 1:9).
I once heard it said, “Hell is not hell because it is hot. Hell is hell because God is not there.”
If you were to die tonight, where would you spend eternity?
From My Heart to Yours,
¹Mark Bridges. Parenthetical’s mine.
²How Deep the Father’s Love For Us words by Stuart Townend.
How Deep The Father’s Love For Us lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group