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Summary: DARKNESS HAS ALWAYS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH EVIL. YET ON GOOD FRIDAY, WHEN DARKNESS COVERED THE EARTH, GOD'S LOVE SHONE BRIGHTLY FOR ALL TO SEE.

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THE DARKEST OF DAYS

MATTHEW 27:32-27:54

DARKNESS HAS ALWAYS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH EVIL. IN EARLY WESTERN MOVIES, THE VILLAIN ALWAYS WORE A BLACK HAT. WHEN SOMEONE IS PORTRAYED BREAKING INTO A HOUSE, THEY ARE ALWAYS WEARING BLACK. THERE IS A NEGATIVE SUPERSTITION ABOUT A BLACK CAT CROSSING YOUR PATH. CRIMINALS HIDE IN THE DARKNESS WHILE WAITING FOR THEIR VICTIMS. DARKNESS HAS ALWAYS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH EVIL.

WHEN WE THINK ABOUT CALVARY, WE CAN CONSIDER IT IN THE SAME MANNER. IT IS NOT THAT JESUS WAS A CRIMINAL, BUT THE EVENTS THAT LED TO HIS CRUCIFIXION WERE UNLAWFUL AND AN INNOCENT MAN PUT TO DEATH. PILATE SAID “I FIND NO FAULT IN HIM,” THEN FOR THE SAKE OF KEEPING THE PEACE, TURNED HIM OVER TO THE CROWD TO CRUCIFY HIM.

THIS WAS THE DARKEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY. THERE ARE NONE THAT CAN COME CLOSE TO IT, OTHER THAN THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT. IT WAS ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY WHEN EVIL WAS APPARENTLY RULING THE DAY TO THE EXTENT THAT FOR THREE HOURS THE SUN WOULD REFUSE TO SHINE, AND SHED LIGHT ON THE DEATH OF JESUS.

WE LIVE IN A VERY DARK WORLD TODAY. THE CHURCH IS BEING ATTACKED ON MANY FRONTS. THE BUSINESS OF THE WORLD IS BEING USED AS A REASON FOR FAMILIES NOT TO ATTEND CHURCH. WHILE THE WORLD IS TOLERANT TO MANY OTHER RELIGIOUS BELIEFS IT IS NOT TOLERANT OF CHRISTIANITY AT ALL. UNPROVOKED AND UNUNDERSTANDABLE VIOLENCE IS INCREASING IN AN ALARMING RATE. PERSONAL PRIVACY IS NO LONGER GUARANTEED IN THE WORLD, AND ALL THE WHILE SATAN SITS BACK AND SMILES AS HE BELIEVES HE IS WINNING.

SATAN WANTED CALVARY. THE UNNATURAL DARKNESS OF THE DAY WAS HIS CALLING CARD. HE WANTED IT FOR HE THOUGHT THAT IF HE COULD NAIL JESUS TO THE CROSS, IF JESUS WOULD DIE, THEN THE OBSTACLE THAT STOOD IN THE WAY OF HIS BEING THE ABSOLUTE RULER OF THE WORLD WOULD BE GONE. PEOPLE WOULD HAVE TO FOLLOW HIM. HE WOULD PROVE THAT HE WAS THE SRONGER MORE POWERFUL ONE THAN GOD. IT WAS AT CALVARY THAT THE BATTLE OF THE AGES, FOR THE AGES, WAS FOUGHT.

CONSIDER FOR A MOMENT THE PATH TO THE CROSS.

JESUS WAS ARRESTED IN THE EARLY HOURS OF THE MORNING, PROBABLY AROUND MIDNIGHT. HE WAS TAKEN TO ANNAS THE HIGH PRIEST AND FOUND GUILTY OF THE CRIME OF BLASPHEMY.

BLASPHEMY WAS A CAPITAL CRIME IN JEWISH LAW, BUT IT HAD NO WEIGHT WITH THE ROMANS. JESUS WAS BROUGHT BEFORE PILATE AND HEROD ON A CHARGE OF CONSPIRACY. THE SANHEDRIN CHARGED THAT JESUS MADE A CLAIM TO BE KING AND THEREFORE WAS GOING TO OVERTHROW THE ROMANS. WHILE JESUS WOULD CLAIM TO BE A KING, HE WAS CAREFUL TO STATE THAT HIS KINGDOM WAS NOT OF THIS WORLD, SO THEREWAS NO MERIT TO THE CHARGE.

AFTER A VARIETY OF RIDICULE METHODS AND TORTURE, PILATE IN ONE LAST MOVE TO TRY TO SATISFY THE CROWD, BROUGHT FORTH A DANGEROUS PRISONER, BARABBAS. THE CUSTOM OF THE DAY WAS TO FREE A PRISONER AND SO PILATE ASKED JESUS OR BARABBAS. MUCH TO HIS SURPRISE THEY CRIED BARABBAS.

NOT WANTING TO EXECUTE AN INNOCENT MAN, AND NOT WANTING THE CROWD TO RIOT EITHER, HE GAVE JESUS OVER TO THE MOB WITH THE AUTHORIZATION TO CRUCIFY HIM.

THE PROCESSION BEGAN, AND JESUS, ALONG WITH THE TWO THIEVES THAT WERE TO BE CRUCIFIED WITH HIM MADE THEIR WAY TO CALVARY. ALONG THE PATH THAT LED TO THE CROSS WERE SCOFFERS AND UNBELIEVERS. THEY SHOUTED INSULTS AND DSPAT UPON HIM. THEY HURLED MANURE AT JESUS.

THERE WERE FRIENDS ALONG THE ROUTE AS WELL THOUGH. PERHAPS IN A CORNER WAS SOMEONE WHO WAS BLIND THAT JESUS MADE SEE AGAIN. THE WOMAN WITH THE ISSUE OF BLOOD WAS THERE. SHE TOUCHED THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT AND WAS HEALED. SHE WAS THERE TO HELP HIM NOW. MARY HIS MOTHER WAS THERE, TEARS STREAMING DOWN HER CHEEKS AS SHE THOUGHT OF THE DEATH HER SON WAS TO DIE.

MANY OF THE CONDEMNED DIED BEFORE THEY WERE EVER NAILED TO THE CROSS, THE BEATING THEY TOOK WAS SO SEVERE. JESUS DIDN’T HAVE THE PHYSICAL STRENGTH TO CARRY HIS CROSS SO SIMON WAS PRESSED INTO SERVICE.

AT GOLGOTHA THE LARGE BEAMS ARE LAID DOWN ON THE GROUND, AND THE CROSS PIECES PUT IN PLACE. JESUS, AND THE OTHER THIEVES ARE PLACED ON THE CROSSES, WITH THEIR HANDS TIED TO PREVENT THEM FROM FALLING OF THE CROSSES IF THE NAILHOLES ENLARGED DURING THE PROCESS.

JESUS FEET ARE CROSSED, AND THE PLACE FOUND WHERE THE NAIL COULD GO BETWEEN BOTH FEET, YET NOT THROUGH THE BONE TO BREAK IT. THE DULL THUD OF A WOODEN MALLET WAS HEARD AS THE NAIL WENT INTO JESUS FEET, AND BLOOD SPURT FROM THE WOUND. THE PROCESS WAS REPEATED FOR BOTH HANDS.

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