A few years ago, a retired pastor gave me a box of books. Amongst the collection was a small but powerful book by William R. Nicholson called The Six Miracles of Calvary. Of course, the main miracle of Easter is the Resurrection of Jesus. We focus heavily on that one, as indeed we should, because our Christian faith hinges on the fact of the empty tomb. However, there were six other miracles that took place on that first “Easter.” God did six amazing things that weekend to send a message to the world about who Jesus is. During this Holy Week, we will focus on one of these each day. For the first miracle, we turn to Dr. Luke’s Gospel.
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. (Luke 23:44-45a)
Jesus was on the Cross for six hours – from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The Gospels tells us several things that happened during the morning hours, but at noon hour, (which they called “the sixth hour”), the picture went dark. It doesn’t matter if you read Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. None of them tell us what happened between 12:00 and 3:00. It’s almost as if for three hours, the world stood still.
There are always people who try to explain away the miracles of the Bible. Some have suggested that an eclipse occurred at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, but there are two reasons why this theory does not hold water. First, a full eclipse only lasts a few moments – not three hours. Second, Jesus’ crucifixion took place during Passover, which was always held during the time of the full moon, when an eclipse of the sun is impossible! I believe it was a miracle of God, designed to make a statement about the gravity of what was happening.
After 3 hours of darkness Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” It was as if the Father had turned away, not because He didn’t love His Son, but because His Holiness could not stand to look at my sinfulness! When Jesus was on the Cross He was carrying my sin, and facing the judgment that I deserved. In the darkest hours of His life, when He could have used a friend the most, He had to suffer and die alone. He was separated from His Father, so that I would not have to be separated from God forever.
Today’s Good News is that Jesus went through the darkness so that you and I may walk in His light. If you believe He is the risen Son of God, and confess your sin to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, you will never have to face the darkness of being separated from God.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12b)
Now, go share the Good News…
Today's devotional is Part #1 of a series on The Miracles of Calvary. I invite you to return every day this week, as we continue our Easter series.
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