|From a Dark Day to a Bright Night|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Wednesday, 02 September 2009 19:42|
From a Dark Day to a Bright Night
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:1-5)
When God created the universe He “called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night”. When God became flesh as the Lord Jesus Christ to save mankind from sin He made the day of His crucifixion a dark day.
“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, "This Man is calling for Elijah!" Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. The rest said, "Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him. Jesus, when He had cried out again with a loud voice, yielded up His Spirit." (Mt. 27:45-50)
Biblical scholars generally agree that the “sixth hour” refers to noon and the “ninth hour” would then refer to 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. In a normal Spring day this three hour period would be the brightest and hottest hours of the day. On the day that Jesus died “there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" By this statement we are given to understand Jesus was separated from God. If Jesus is God manifested in the flesh then how could He call out “My God, My God?” Does that mean God the Son was calling to God the Father? Absolutely not! There cannot be two Gods. Throughout the Bible there is only One True God. Let us understand this truth that Jesus has two natures. He is God in His divine nature and Man in His human nature. During those three hours of darkness Jesus, in His human nature, was made sin for mankind.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)
“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24)
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:6)
Second, by the shedding of Jesus’ blood God had caused all forms of animal sacrifices in the temple to cease.
“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:11-14)
“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate." (Dan. 9:26-27)
“Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself” means the Lord Jesus Christ would be separated from God. He did not do it for Himself. He did it for us.
“And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” This is a prophecy that Titus (the son of the Roman emperor) would come to destroy Jerusalem and the temple. It is amazing that Daniel prophesied this historical event that took place in A.D. 70 which is more than thirty years after the crucifixion.
“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.” It is the Messiah who “shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.” That week began with what some refer as “Palm Sunday”, the day in which the people in Jerusalem were waving palm leaves to welcome the Messiah as their King. It was also in the same week that Jesus confirmed the New Covenant with His disciples during the Lord’s Supper.“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." (Mt. 26:26-29)
“But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” The first day of the week was “Palm Sunday” and the last day is the Seventh Day Sabbath. The “middle of the week” is Wednesday. When Jesus died on the cross “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” thus signifying “an end to sacrifice and offering”. With the supreme sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the altar in Calvary the Old Covenant sacrificial system of animals was abolished forever (read Hebrews 9 and 10).
Now this will be shocking to many Christians who have been taught that Jesus died on a Friday. They call it “Good Friday”. There is even a restaurant franchise in America called “TGIF” – Thank God it’s Friday. Daniel’s prophecy indicates our Lord Jesus Christ actually died on a Wednesday that is the middle of the week. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself confirmed this truth.
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Mt. 12:40)
This is our Lord’s own prophecy that He would be buried “three days and three nights”. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or mathematician to know that a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection cannot add up to “three days and three nights” burial. Now study the biblical facts and take the Wednesday crucifixion as an actuality. Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus and buried it on Wednesday evening (Mt. 27:57-60). By Saturday evening Jesus would have been buried exactly “three days and three nights”. Here is another biblical truth that many seem to forget. God’s biblical day begins with the evening (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). According to the Jewish reckoning Saturday evening is already the First Day of the week.
I am going to show you that Jesus actually rose on Saturday evening. “On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” (Jn. 20:1) Saturday evening, according to the biblical reckoning, is called “the first day of the week”. Notice that when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb on Saturday evening “while it was still dark . . . the stone had been taken away”. Our Lord Jesus Christ had already risen from the grave on Saturday evening. That Saturday evening became bright with the hope that those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection will have eternal life in heaven with Him.
A sermon based on this article was preached by Paul Wong
to a congregation in Houston, Texas on April 19, 2003.
This article was published on this Website on September 2, 2009
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2009 21:20|