Summary: This past week, our nation, experienced something that hasn’t been seen in a century, a full, coast to coast solar eclipse (8/21/17).
The Eclipse of the Cross Mark 15:20-34
This past week, our nation, experienced something that hasn’t been seen in a century, a full, coast to coast solar eclipse
It was an amazing event. When God does something, it catches the attention of the whole world. Millions of people watched this supernatural, spectacular event in the sky. It’s something only God can do.
There’s another eclipse I want to talk about today. This eclipse happened around 2,000 years ago: the eclipse of the cross. At this eclipse, it wasn’t the moon eclipsing the sun, it was our sins eclipsing the Son, that’s S.O.N. the Son of God.
We read about it here in Mark 15:20-34
Mark is describing the crucifixion of Christ. V25 Mark tells us that Jesus was crucified at “the third hour” that is 9am.
Crucifixions were held early morning. It would take hours for victims of crucifixion to die. If they were not dead by midafter-noon the Roman soldiers would break the victim’s legs resulting in a quicker death.
Jesus was crucified at 9am could mean that there were others crucified before him. Vs27 Mark tells us there were at least two others crucified one on each side of Jesus.
Vs33 gives us more details of the crucifixion of Christ. Mark tells us that from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. The sixth hour to the ninth hour would be noon to 3pm.
From noon to 3pm there was darkness, total complete darkness over the land.
So, Jesus was on the cross 6 hours. Then number 6 stands for man. Rev 13:18 says "… the number of a man … is 666."
The first 3 hours, from 9am to noon it was daylight. The last three hours he was on the cross, noon til 3pm, there was darkness.
Three hours was daylight, 3 hours was darkness.
The last three hours beginning at noon, when the sun was at its peak, an astounding event takes place: there was the eclipse of the cross.
But this was not a natural solar eclipse like we had this week. This was a spiritual eclipse. This was an eclipse where our sins blocked the son of God as he bore the sins of the world.
V33 speaking of the darkness, Mark says "…there was darkness over the whole land …." The original word for “land” is the word we get our word geology (study of the earth). It means earth. It can mean the part of the earth where you’re standing, a nation or it can mean of the whole world.
Ancient Roman history records that there was darkness over the known earth on that day. Luke says "… there was a darkness over all the earth …" 23:44 Just as the flood waters of Noah’s day covered the entire world so did the darkness of the cross.
The darkness of the cross was as the darkness of Deu. 28 where God tells the people you will stagger around at noon like the blind stumbling around in darkness and … no man shall save thee. v29 For three hours the people stumbled around in darkness like the blind. The darkness was blinding.
This darkness was as the darkness that God caused to fall over the land of Egypt in Ex. 10 where it says, "Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:” Moses stretched for his hand and there was a thick, black darkness in all the land of Egypt for 3 days. But on this occasion, here at the cross, it was God who stretched out his hand from heaven and caused a thick black darkness, that was felt by all the world for three hours. It was a blinding darkness.
Not only was the darkness blinding it was deafening.
For the first three hours that Jesus was on the cross, when it was daylight there was a crowd of people at the foot of the cross mocking, belittling, and ridiculing our Lord.
Mark tells us about this in vs29-32
Right in the middle of their mocking, Mark says in v33…
When the darkness came the mocking stopped. 1Sa 2:9 says God "…the wicked shall be silent in darkness; …."
The darkness was God’s way of saying to the wicked mockers, “be quiet.” “You’ve said enough.” To shut them up he turned off the sun.
All the wicked could do in the darkness was just stumble around like the blind. Like a drunk man drunk with his own pride and sin.
Biblical history shows that it is not unusual for God to interfere with the Sun. He has on several other occasions. Once, he caused the sun to stand still which means he caused the Earth to stop rotating.