Summary: Cries From The Cross - The Word of Anguish (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
the Word of Anguish
Reading: Luke chapter 27 verse 46:
In this series of studies:
• We are considering the seven statements of Jesus from the cross:
• These statements are very important to us:
• Not only because of the Person who spoke them;
• But, also because of the place where they were said.
• Remember the context that these great words were spoken in;
• It was when our Jesus was doing His greatest work on earth,
“These seven last words from the cross are windows that enable us to look into eternity and see the heart of God.”
This morning we are looking at the fourth statement that Jesus made on the cross;
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?”
I want to look at this verse under 4 headings:
(1). THE WONDER OF THE DARKNESS (vs 45)
“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land”.
• The first of the three cries from the cross were uttered in daylight;
• But this fourth cry is uttered in darkness.
According to Jewish custom, a new day began at 6:00AM in the morning:
• So when we read that Jesus was crucified at the third hour,
• Which we understand this to be at 9:00A.M.
• So for three hours Jesus hung on the cross in the morning sunlight;
• But then at the sixth hour, which is midday, something unusual happened;
• When the sun should have been at its zenith of light and heat;
• We are told that darkness spread over the land.
There are those who say this was not an eclipse of the sun;
• For an eclipse to happen for exactly three hours at this specific point in history;
• Requires more faith to me, than to simply believe it was a miraculous act of God.
• What we are told is that it was the time of the Passover in Jerusalem.
• So the experts tell us we therefore know that there would have been a full moon;
• And the experts also tell us;
• That there cannot be an eclipse of the Sun at the time of full moon.
• So if it was not natural phenomenon;
• What caused the darkness?
Answer: I believe that the sun was obscured by a supernatural act of God.
(a). Darkness in the Bible is always associated with sin.
• e.g. John chapter 3 verse 19:
• “Men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil”.
• John observes that there are many who refuse to come out into the open;
• Because they do not want their evil behaviour to be revealed.
• I am sure you are well aware that many evil deeds,
• Many iniquities are perpetrated under cover of darkness.
• e.g. In Bible times no-one ever travelled at night (take shelter at an inn etc).
• e.g. If we think about our own city;
• In Monday’s newspaper you will read articles concerning;
• The crime, thieving and immorality which takes place under the cover of darkness.
So in the Bible sin is often correlated with darkness:
• And holiness with light.
• 1 John chapter 1 verse 5: ’God is light; in him there is no darkness at all’
(b). Darkness is also associated with judgement.
• We know that the crucifixion took place at Passover;
• And there is the link;
• e.g. Think back to Exodus chapter 12:
• It was at night when the judgement fell and the firstborn throughout the land died!
• We are actually told in Exodus chapter 10 verses 21 that this darkness that covered the land;
• Was so heavy that it was a "darkness that can be felt".
• So in the Passover story;
• Darkness is linked to the judgement of God.
In the darkness at the cross:
• We again see the judgment of God the Father against His one and only Son:
• “God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us”.
• On the cross Jesus became legally guilty of our sin,
• And for that He was judged.
• Just think what that entailed:
• Ill: man drowning in human sewage (repulsive and sickening thought)
• No wonder this event was veiled from human eyes.
• It was nothing for mankind to look into!
Quote: Isaac Watts great hymn ‘Alas, and did my Saviour bleed’?
“Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the Great Maker, died
For man, the creature’s sin.”
(2). THE WONDER OF THE QUESTION (vs 46).
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken/abandoned me?"