Real, Relevant, Raw and Radical!

Day 22 – Who turned off the Light?    

 

Luke 23:44-45b(NLT) By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 45 The light from the sun was gone.

 

Matthew 27:45(NLT) Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 

 

Mark 15:33(NLT) At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 

 

1 Peter 1:10-12(NKJV) Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

 

Light! What a gift. What a beautiful sight is the birth of a new day, as the sun rises over the horizon. Daylight, sunshine, a new day filled with opportunities and possibilities. As a young boy, I would spent lots of time on my grandparents farm. If you know anything about farm life, you would know that on the farm, you wake up early in the morning before the sun ever has the opportunity to say; “Hello”. We would get busy with milking cows and letting animals out to pasture. Then we would go back up to the house for a quick breakfast and continue the day. If we lingered too long, my grandpa would say; “C’mon boys we are burning daylight, let’s get out there.” Because the day is when you work. 

 

Jesus has been on the cross for three hours. Mark tells us that Jesus was crucified at 9. He spoke to the criminal on the cross beside Him, and to Mary and John. Then at noon, something incredible happens, darkness falls on the earth. We have no insight from any of the gospel writers to why this is happening. But we do know that it happened. This was not simply an eclipse that could be explained naturally. Luke simply says; “the light from the sun was gone”. After all the mocking, taunting and abuse; suddenly darkness. We can only assume that with this darkness is an eerie stillness. All the verbal abuse has stopped, no one is uttering a word and in the stillness, the Son of Man is hanging on the cross. It seems like no one is allowed to see what is happening now. The collective noise, from the whirlwind arrest, to the kangaroo court appearances, to the deafening screams of “crucify Him” is suddenly utterly silenced within one moment. Someone turned the lights off on planet earth. 

 

In the middle of the day, when the sun is suppose to shine the brightest, darkness falls. What are we to make of this moment? The power and mystery of the cross of Christ is so sacred, that it is easy to be overwhelmed by it. The cross is both brutal and beautiful. The cross is shocking and appealing. It is filled with sorrow and joy. It is filled with darkness and light. Could this be what Amos saw? Amos 8:9 (ESV) “And on that day,” declares the Lord God, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.

 

Has the Father now veiled what the Son is experiencing? Is it covered in darkness because neither man nor angels could understand the suffering? Is this the moment that the perfect, spotless Lamb takes on Himself the sin of the world? By doing so, the Father is pouring out that which sin deserves, judgement. Isaiah 53:10-11(NKJV) Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

 

For three hours, there is complete darkness. We see in the Book of Exodus a very similar experience before Israel is released from bondage. The last judgment on the land of Egypt, before the death of the firstborn, is three days of darkness. Exodus 10:22-23(NLT) So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. 23 During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived.

 

At the cross and beyond, no one is scurrying around doing business as usual. No one can work. No one can worship. No one can offer a Passover lamb, until Christ’s work is complete. Jesus, our Passover Lamb, is offering Himself as the sin offering for us, so that we can be released from the bondage of sin. The Father turns off the light and places on Him the sin of the world. A sacred exchange whereby Jesus gives His life and bears the penalty of our sin. That is only made possible by His sinless sacrifice. What wonder? What awe? Jesus makes this statement in John 8:12(NLT) Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

 

The Pharisees freak out, because they say Jesus has no witnesses to His claim. So, therefore, His claim is invalid. Jesus says, it is valid because He (Jesus) is one witness and the Father is the other witness. Then later on Jesus makes this statement and says; 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he.” Now at the cross, Jesus is lifted up just like He said. Everybody witnessed the Son of Man on the cross. But now in the veil of darkness only the Father and the Son is able to witness what is taking place. It is no wonder that the Psalmist looking toward that day would proclaim; “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. 24 This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

Thank God for His amazing sacrifice. We no longer have to walk in darkness. Jesus the Light of the world has become the Life of our world. John 1:4-5(NIV) In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 

 

The only thing that we will have without the Son, is darkness. But thank God, we don’t have to grapple in darkness. We don’t have to cower in fear. Because Jesus stepped into the darkness and the darkness could not overcome Him. If you feel today that you are surrounded by darkness, if you feel that the weight of life is pressing down on you, then I have good news for you. Malachi 4:2(NLT) “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. 

 

The Father has made His Son sin for us, so that the light of His Son will be the Sun of Righteousness in our lives. So do a little dance, take a joyful leap and let the Son shine in! 

 

Prayer:

  • Thank God for Jesus and the price He paid for us.
  • Ask the Lord to help you walk in the power of the Life of Jesus.
  • Pray for those who are still trapped in the darkness of their sin.
  • Pray that you would be salt and light to others and that your life will create a thirst in them for Jesus and give direction to the lost.