33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
Scholars assert the darkness that came over the land from noon until three in the afternoon was a foreshadow of the darkness Jesus would endure for the following 3 days alone without God’s presence in hell. Such an absence of God’s presence can also be assigned to Jesus’ last words on the cross ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ The three hours of darkness is also a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies as seen Amos 8:9 and Jeremiah 15:9. In order for Jesus to completely atone for all our sins, he had to take our punishment (an eternal absence of God’s presence aka hell) upon himself. He had to do this since the Bible says the penalty of sin is death. Not a physical death but a spiritual eternal death from God’s presence.
May this passage encourage you of the Father’s love towards you. He loved you so much that He gave His only son, who took your punishment upon himself, so that you can have an eternal relationship with God. What a gift!! (Con).
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Read the Bible verse above a few times, slowly, and note any words or phrases that jump out to you. Pray for wisdom and revelation as you take time in God’s presence.