Darkness Over All The Land

3

Audio of Sermon: 

Sermon Notes: Matthew 27:45 (KJV)  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

We’re suppose to have a lunar eclipse tomorrow, August 21st. I’m told that the total eclipse will have a magnitude of 1.0306 and will be visible within a narrow corridor 70 miles wide crossing fourteen states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. According to those who claim to know, the time for the eclipse in Nashville, Tn will be:

Beginning (moon touches sun’s edge) 11:58 am

Full Eclipse begins 1:27 pm

Maximum Eclipse 1:28 pm

Full Eclipsze ends 1:29 pm

End (moon leaves sun’s edge) 2:54 pm

If you plan on watching the Eclipse, don’t look directly at the sun, even if you’re wearing sun glasses. Staring at the sun – even during an Eclipse – can blind you. The Sun’s UV radiation can burn the retinas in the eyes leading to permanent damage or even blindness. NASA recommends using welder’s glasses rated 14 or higher.

On the day that Christ went to the Cross the Bible tells us that

from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour

Was This An Eclipse?

An “Eclipse” is a natural phenomenon that God designed to be. The earth rotates around the sun, and the moon rotates around the earth. When the moon is behind the earth – that is, the earth is directly facing the sun with the moon on it’s backside – this is when we have what is called “A Full Moon”. The moon has no light of it’s own, but reflects the light of the sun. But when the moon passes between the earth and the sun it blocks out the sun’s light, giving us what we call an “Eclipse”. During an Eclipse we are looking at the dark side of the moon as it blocks the sun from us. Monday’s Eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States since July 11, 1991, and then it was only seen in Hawaii. This is the first visible Eclipse from the contiguous United States since 1979.

Eclipses only occur rarely, and as you have seen, last a very short time. I am told that the most that a total Solar Eclipse could last is 7 minutes and 31 seconds. The darkening of the sun we see in our text could not be an Eclipse. It lasted from the sixth until the ninth hour – three hours long. Also, no Eclipse occurs during a full moon. It’s not possible.

The Jewish Passover or Pesach begins during the Full Moon in the first month of the Jewish Ecclesiastical Year. This could not be an Eclipse as we know it.

This darkness was “over the whole land”. This darkness was not a natural occurrence, but a sign from God as to the significance of the Cross of Christ.

The Darkness Was Unnatural, But So Is Sin

We normalize sin in our America. The so called “Left” normalizes sin. The so called “Right” normalizes sin. People of all colors normalize sin. We wink at sin, thinking it is nothing. The Biblical word for “Sin” is the Greek HAMARTANO which means “to take aim, shoot, and miss the mark”. Sin is a missing of the mark. It is an aberration.

1 John 3:4 (NKJV) Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

No fault was found in Christ. Pilate declared Jesus innocent, and if he had been a just Judge Christ would have been released. Instead we see Christ turned over to the soldiers …

Matthew 27:26-30 (KJV)… {Pilate} delivered him to be crucified.  [27]  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.   [28]  And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.  [29]  And when they had PLATTED A CROWN OF THORNS, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!  [30]  And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

Sin mocks God and God’s Messiah. I want you to think for a moment of the CROWN that was placed on Christ’s head. It was a crown of THORNS. Thorns symbolize the curse of God on creation. When Adam sinned God caused creation to fall. The perfect Eden was cursed because of what WE did. The animal did nothing wrong, but sin hurts more than the sinner.

Sin hurts the innocent.

It is sin which caused God to tell Adam:

Genesis 3:17-19 …. cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; [18] THORNS ALSO AND THISTLES SHALL IT BRING FORTH TO THEE; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; [19] In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Imagine a world without suffering, without pain, without crime, without aging.

Imagine a world where neither Obamacare nor Medicare was needed.

Imagine a world where people love and are loved.

Imagine a world where the tongue was used for tasting & saying good things

but was never misused as a knife to cut up others and to tear down a soul.

Sin is unnatural, destructive, evil.

Adam and Eve lost Paradise and the tree of life because of sin.

The world was destroyed by Flood because of sin.

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and brimstone because of sin (Genesis 19).

Nadab and Abihu were consumed by fire because of sin (Leviticus 10).

Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness because of sin (Numbers 14).

Moses lost the Promised Land at Kadesh because of sin (Numbers 20).

Israel was defeated in battle with tiny Ai because of sin (Joshua 7).

What are thorns? They are abnormal, the result of sin, unrepentant sin in the life. God says:

Hebrews 6:8 (KJV)  But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Thorns are only worth burning. They are the curse. These soldiers made a crown of thorns to put on Christ’s Head to mock Him, but these thorns show something else. Jesus died because of sin. Jesus died to conquer sin.

As these soldiers mocked and beat an innocent and helpless Man we see the effects of evil unchecked in the human. Where Christ is unwanted and unloved, evil abounds.

The Unnatural Darkness Emphasizes The Darkened Hearts Of Sinners

The Bible tells us that:

from the SIXTH hour there was darkness over all the land unto the NINTH hour.

The SIXTH hour was the time of day six hours from sunrise, or in our modern terms noon or 12 PM. When it is the SIXTH hour the sun is at it’s highest place, directly above our heads. There should have been light without shadow at the sixth hour. I want to say that again:

There should have been light without shadow at noon.

Though it should have been broad daylight, there was only darkness. There was darkness in the human heart. The Prophet said:

Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

A person unrestrained by Law or Conscience becomes a monster. We read:

Matthew 27:31 (KJV)  And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

As Jesus went down the road to Calvary He had to carry His own Cross. Every step was agony. He had been beaten, and blood loss and thirst made the Lord Who was a powerful Man weak. He collapsed on the road, falling in the dirt. The Bible tells us that:

Matthew 27:32 (KJV) And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

Simon of Cyrene is mentioned only in Scripture as the man who carried Christ’s Cross. Simon did not carry the Cross by choice. The Bible says:

The soldiers COMPELLED him to bear His Cross.

Simon carried Christ’s Cross, but is never mentioned again in Scripture or in history. He was not saved. Simon is a picture of legislated morality. You cannot legislate morality. You cannot force someone to be right with God and with man. Salvation is a choice that every person must make, a choice to WILLINGLY carry Christ’s Cross. Jesus said:

Matthew 16:24-27 (KJV) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Salvation is a denial of self. You must deny yourself to be saved. You must place yourself in the service of Christ, even if that service is distasteful. You must follow Jesus. When Jesus walked that lonely path to Calvary He did so willingly, and for us.

Thus we follow Him willingly.

Not like Simon of Cyrene, but like Simon Peter.

Not because we are forced.

But because we love Him.

Matthew 27:33-34 (KJV) And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,  [34]  They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

The word “Calvary” is only found once in the Scripture, in:

Luke 23:33 (KJV)  And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

In all other places it is called “Golgotha”. What is the difference between “Golgotha” and “Calvary”? Nothing. We seem to like the word “Calvary” better because it sounds better, but either word is the same. The Latin for Golgotha is Calvary. It is “a place of a skull”. A place where people were executed. It should have been a sad place, but it had become a place of entertainment.

The Darkness Fell To Stop The Playing

Matthew 27:35 (KJV) And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

The darkness often falls on us, and on our nation, to get our attention.

We have a tendency to love the wrong things.

God made us to love Him and to love one another.

Yet often we love stuff, things, much more than the life which God has given us.

As Jesus hung dying on the Cross the soldiers knelt at the foot of the Cross playing games. Christ’s clothing was of more value to them than Christ Himself. As they did this Matthew recalls a prophecy that is fulfilled in this horrible scene:

Psalms 22:15-18 (KJV)  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  [16]  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.  [17]  I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.  [18]  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Here is Him Who is without sin dying, but the world looks on blindly.

The cruelty of the Cross and the games the soldiers were playing was prophesied by God. Mark tells us that …

Mark 15:27-28 (KJV) And with Him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. 28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And HE WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS.

Our innocent Redeemer dies on a Cross between two thieves. He is “numbered with the transgressors”, a prophecy of …

Isaiah 53:12 (KJV)  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 22:37 (KJV)   For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

Jesus was “numbered with the transgressors” though He was not one. A little girl was asked “What does love look like?” The little girl said “It’s when I let Johnny get in front of me at the drinking fountain line”. Art smiled and said, “Well, you must love Johnny very much.” She replied, “No, I don’t even like him”.

God so loved the world that He sent His only Begotten Son to die for us. God did not like what we were doing when He sent Christ. God doesn’t like what we are doing now. God does not like sin, but He loves the world. So Christ was “numbered with the transgressors” so that we who transgress can be saved.

When Darkness Falls, Who Will You Turn To?

Matthew 27:38 (KJV)  Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

Matthew does not record the salvation of the thief on Christ’s right hand, but Luke does. Jesus was numbered with the Transgressors. He is not dying for His sins, but for our sins. But the Transgressors are dying for their sins. The thieves on either side of Christ are not there because of injustice, but because of justice. They have sinned against God, and against order. Their sins are put to rest by the state who has the power of the sword” (Romans 13:4). The thief on Christ’s left speaks up.

Luke 23:39 (ESV) “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

Jesus cannot save the person whose heart is hardened toward God. Some people say “I will believe in Jesus and follow Him when I am older”. That is a foolish thing. It is possible to harden your heart to where God cannot reach you – and then you will die in your sins. TODAY is the day of salvation. TODAY is the day to call on God. The thief on Christ’s left was hardened to sin. But the thief on His right side said:

Luke 23:40-43 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

If it were not for the suffering he was going through, that thief might never have been saved. But Christ was with him in his suffering. Christ is with us all in our suffering, if we would but turn to Him.

Then darkness fell. We read:

Matthew 27:45-46 (KJV)  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  [46]  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The darkness is the symbol of the wrath of God being poured out on Christ. Christ stood in my place. Christ stood in your place. It was not the

crown of thorns

the scourge

or the Cross

that made Christ cry out. It was the absence of God in the midst of the darkness that made Him cry. But though He cried, He nonetheless triumphed. The Cross did not defeat Jesus, but the Cross defeated

The Devil

Death

Corruption and Sin

The Cross conquered darkness, and brought eternal life. The Cross stood though the darkness departed. The Cross will always triumph. Jesus will always triumph!

A Final Word

All light is dim where Christ is not. If Jesus is not there, what is there? We have a choice. Christ first, and we walk in light. Christ last, and we walk in darkness. Never let Him go. Cleave to Christ. Love Him. He is the power of God unto salvation both now, and forever.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Blood of Atonement, Cross of Christ, devil, Sermons Preached, sinners and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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