Dark Day

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 27:45-54

TO CHEW ON: “Surely he was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54

After Pilate’s soldiers were through with Jesus, they put His own clothes on Him again. Then they made Him carry the cross on which He would be nailed. It was about 9 o’clock in the morning when the soldiers and criminals got to Golgotha hill. They lay Jesus on the cross, nailed Him to it, then raised the cross to stand upright.

"The Erection of the Cross" by Gustave Dore, 1865

What happened over the next hours is not pleasant to read. The soldiers who watched cast lots (like drawing straws) to see who would get Jesus’ clothes.

"And sitting down they kept watch over Him there." by James Tissot

People taunted and teased Him. Jesus asked John to look after His mother. He told a thief beside Him that He could be forgiven. At noon everything got as dark as night.

"The Darkness at the Crucifixion" by Gustave Dore, 1865

This lasted for three hours. Around 3 o’clock Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

He asked for something to drink. They held up a sponge dipped in vinegar.

"I am thirsty" by James Tissot

"It is finished!" Jesus cried out. Then He died.

"The Earthquake" by James Tissot

Chaos. In the darkness, people heard the temple curtain rip from top to bottom. There was an earthquake. People came out of tombs.

Why did the darkness, the curtain ripping and the earthquake happen? Were they all coincidence? Or did the person who wrote this make it up? Or was Jesus really the Son of God - and God was telling us through nature what an important thing had just happened? I think it is the last one; what do you think?

That day everything changed - for every person past, present and future. That day Jesus paid the penalty that God demands for sin, with His life. If you and I accept that He did this for us, God accepts us as forgiven. We can be friends with Him.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, Son of God, thank You for dying on the cross and taking the punishment I deserve. Amen.

MORE: It Was Predicted

Jesus’ death fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies - another proof He was no ordinary man. Match each prediction with the place it is found in the Bible:

_____ 1. They would cast lots for Jesus’ clothes
_____ 2. None of Jesus’ bones would be broken.
_____ 3. Jesus would be pierced.
_____ 4. Jesus would be given vinegar to drink.
_____ 5. Jesus would be a laughingstock and people would stare at Him.

A. Psalm 69:21
B. Psalm 22:18
C. Psalm 34:20
D. Psalm 22:17
E. Psalm 22:16


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