Summary: At noon something both extremely disturbing and awe inspiring took place…darkness covered the land, like a blanket.
INTRO: 1. I want to draw your attention to an oft overlooked event that took place at Calvary.
2. Jesus had already, in broad daylight, hung upon that cross for three hours—from 9 in the morning to noon.
a. There can be no doubt of his crucifixion, countless witnesses testify to that fact.
3. But at noon something both extremely disturbing and awe inspiring took place…darkness covered the land, like a blanket.
a. This was no ordinary event, not merely an overcast day, or storm clouds moving in.
b. Such a unforgettable darkness that it is specifically mentioned by three out of the four gospel accounts.
4. This darkness was unique in it’s intensity.
a. In all three gospel accounts, they all use the same greek word for this “darkness.”
b. ‘Skotos’ is derived from the greek word ‘ska’ which means ‘to cover.’ It literally means the exact opposite of light. The absence of light. Total darkness.
c. Darkness literally fell upon them, leaving them in pitch black…had it not been for the torches that they stumbled around to light there would be no light.
d. The Lord they had mocked and scorned and watched upon that cross was now hidden by the darkness from their eyes.
5. This darkness was unique in it’s timing.
a. It descended at the brightest point of the day… high noon.
ILL. As Spurgeon said… “It was midnight at midday.”
b. In the middle of an ordinary day—the city was plunged into darkness.
6. This darkness was unique in it’s duration.
a. This was not a passing cloud blown in by the wind.
b. Three hours this darkness blotted out the sun.
c. No doubt terror struck the hearts of those ancient peoples who wondered if because of what they did to this Messiah would have forever left them in darkness.
d. Luke in his account says…
Luke 23:48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
e. It was a truly a disturbing even tormenting darkness.
7. This darkness was unique in it’s Scope.
a. Luke points out that this darkness was “over all the earth.”
b. Remember this was passover, when the moon was full…a time of year that eclipses couldn’t happen.
c. This was more than a natural darkness, but a supernatural one.
d. Foreign nations ran confused in this darkness…they would never forget this day.
e. For the first time since God declared “Let there be light” the entire world was engrossed in darkness.
8. We need to realize as they did that this darkness was unique in it’s significance.
a. It was clear to many that day that this darkness didn’t come by happenstance.
b. It was clearly the result of who they had hanging on that center cross.
c. No doubt many in the land that had little time to consider what was being done outside of Jerusalem’s walls, but no matter what they where doing before in the darkness they paused & realized something significant was taking place.
9. I am here to declare to you this morning that this darkness was more than merely a dramatic setting for Calvary, but held spiritual and eternal significance as well.
I. IT WAS HELL’S HOUR
a. We must never forget that the Cross was a battleground for the eternal souls of men.
b. Because of what the rest of the book tells us we know that the cross was far more than a physical reality, it was in fact a spiritual reality as well.
c. What really happened at the place of the skull was far more than the eye can see.
d. But I believe that God allowed this pitch darkness to serve as an object lesson for us all on the darkness that descended on Golgotha.
e. The same word used here for “darkness” is the very same word they used when talking of spiritual darkness as well.
f. Hear the words of Jesus as they came to take him from the garden, after healing the servant of the high priests ear…
Luke 22:53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
A. IT’S THE PLACE OF HELL’S ASSAULT
1. On Calvary, Hell would unleash its’ greatest attack against that “Man of Sorrows.”
2. It was a time of fierce assault as all the forces of hell was unleashed against our Lord.
3. I believe that not only did Jesus hear the mocks and scorns of evil men, but I believe the demonic forces of Hell chided and tormented our Lord as well.
4. Not only had the roman soldiers and the crowds gathered at Calvary, but I believe Hell’s generals and Satan himself came to gloat and came to add to the burden of our Suffering Savior.