March 12, 2022
“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole earth until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.”
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“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole earth until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.’ Saying this, He breathed His last.” Luke 23:44-46
The natural phenomena accompanying Jesus’ crucifixion were predicted several centuries prior to His birth. The prophet Amos, in particular, gives a graphic account as if he were an eyewitness.
“The Lord has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: I will never forget all their deeds. Because of this, won’t the land quake and all who dwell in it mourn? All of it will rise like the Nile; it will surge and subside like the Nile in Egypt. And in that day – this is the declaration of the Lord God – I will make the sun go down at noon; I will darken the land in the daytime. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will cause everyone to wear sackcloth and every head to be shaved. I will make that grief like mourning for an only son and its outcome like a bitter day.” Amos 8:7-10
Jesus died at three in the afternoon, precisely when the Passover lamb would have been slain in the Temple. From the spot where many historians agree was Golgotha, the temple mount is clearly seen. An idea put forth is that from where His cross was positioned, Jesus could literally see the whole Passover sacrifice being conducted at the Temple. Is it possible He was watching and waiting until that precise moment, the slaughter of Passover lamb, to give up His Spirit?
King David recorded another account of Jesus’ redemptive work.
“Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly. Be a rock of refuge for me, a mountain fortress to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; You lead and guide me because of Your name. You set me free from the net that was securely set for me, for You are my refuge. Into Your hand, I entrust my spirit; You redeem me, Lord, God of truth.” Psalm 31:2-5
While Jesus was giving Himself to redeem the world, He trusted that the Father would esteem His act of sacrifice and redeem Him. With this, we face a potential problem: 1) Jesus is about to take the world’s sin upon Himself. 2) God is the Righteous Judge, who will by no means clear the guilty. So, how can a holy God adequately judge sin and still pardon His Son who bore that guilt? He can do so because, while bearing the sin guilt of the World, Jesus, Himself remained sinless. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says of Jesus, “He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to become sin for us.” But the idea conveyed is literally “become the ‘sin offering’ for us,” not that Jesus became sin, Himself, for He, remained sinless. There is no personal sin in a ram or a bull, offered as a sin offering, yet the sin of a nation is imputed to the animal during the ceremony, so Jesus remained personally sinless while bearing the sin of the world.
There is also an interesting observation concerning the Holy Spirit, whose ministry is to reveal the truth. At Jesus’ death, He entrusted His Spirit to the Father, and the Spirit bore witness on Jesus’ behalf. I believe Jesus’ last statement from the cross acts as an affirmation & testimony concerning the Trinity…with all three “Persons” present, working in harmony to accomplish both righteous judgment AND redemption for us all.