“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” – Luke 23:44
Scripture reading: Luke 23:40-56
In the middle of the day, Jesus hangs in darkness. The darkness is a symbol showing that Jesus is bearing the curse of God. Think about what it would be like for the crowd on that day. Three hours of darkness is a long time. Does the crowd know Jesus is bearing the judgment of God? They too experience the darkness, but they were not facing God’s judgment; Jesus was.
In the darkness, they would be able to hear the One on Whom God was pouring out His judgment struggling to breathe. There in the darkness, God has placed His own Son on the altar. Abraham did this with Isaac, but Isaac was never put to death because a ram was given to take Isaac’s place. Now the Son of God is placed on the altar, the ultimate substitute, to suffer in our place and He is put to death.
Did the crowd remember how He healed their sick and raised the dead? Now Jesus, though innocent, is being put to death. Isaiah 53:10 says, “The Lord makes His life a guilt offering.”
The crowd has those three hours to think about this. Let us also quiet our hearts and think about this. This is the sacrifice we need. This is the Lamb slain. See Him, believe in Him for your forgiveness and for your salvation. Here is your only hope to rescue you from the wages of your sin, to rescue you from hell and to open paradise for you.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that God will help you to consider today what Christ endured in your place. Praise God for taking the darkness that we may be brought into the everlasting light of His grace.
Rev. Simon Lievaart is a pastor for Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. He and his wife Jodi have four children.