It is Friday.
Jesus was in Gethsemane between 9pm and midnight on Thursday night…the arrest took place after this…the trial was between 3am and 6am Friday morning…then He was bounced back and forth between Pilate and Herod…then back to Pilate.
The death of Jesus on the cross is the most phenomenal event in history; in fact, it is the most crucial focal point in history.Â Eternal salvation was secured for man in the death of Jesus upon the cross.Â Because Jesus died, man can live forever in a perfect state of being.Â Therefore, the events of the cross are all important.Â They hold lesson after lesson for the person who seeks the truth of God’s Son.
Jesus was crucified at 9am (the third hour), and darkness swept the land from 12 noon until 3pm (the sixth hour to the ninth hour).
During the course of events Jesus uttered seven sayings from the cross:
Father, forgive them . . . (Luke 23:34)
This day you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43)
Woman, behold your son . . .(John 19:26-27)
My God, my God . . . (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)
I thirst.Â (John 19:28)
It is finished! (John 19:30)
Father into your hands . . . (Luke 23:46)
Around 2pm He felt the agony of separation from His Father…all the sins of the world had been piled on Him…God the Father could not stand to look upon this hideous sight…so He turned from His only Son…the first and only time that ever occurred.Â Jesus responded, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me.” Around 2:30pm He said, “I thirst.”
Finally at 2:45pm…it was completed and He said, “It is finished!”Â Notice…He did not say, “I am finished.”Â His mission was complete.Â Wrath and judgment were satisfied.Â The world had a Savior.Â At 3pm, Jesus said, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.”Â The ordeal was over.
Why did all this happen?Â Every step Jesus took in His earthly life was leading Him to the place the Hebrews called â€œGolgothaâ€; and the Romans called â€œCalvaryâ€. It was known to all as â€œThe Place of the Skullâ€. All through the Gospels, Jesus had said this was His destiny, Matt. 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:28; 26:2. The very morning of His death, He told Pontius Pilate that Calvary was the place He was going, â€œTo this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the worldâ€¦,â€ John 18:37.Â He came to set men free from the penalty of sin.Â Jesus secured a choice for us.Â We can live with the penalty of sin and be forever separated from God the Father.Â Or we can choose to accept what Jesus did on the cross as full payment for our sin debt and experience an eternal relationship with the Creator of the universe.
At this point the cross was:
A PLACE OF UNBELIEVABLE TORMENT
A PLACE OF UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY
So what was going on with the disciples during all of this?Â All their hopes and dreams were gone.Â Proverbs 13:12Â Hope deferred makes the heart sick…Â When all is failing and every ounce of hope is gone, there is an empty sick feeling that takes over.Â The emotional well being of every person runs on an adequate amount of hope.Â The disciples waited through the night hours and watched during the day. They thought that Jesus would do something.Â Hope was being depleted with every waiting minute.Â They saw the very life drain out of Jesus.Â They sought to figure it out…to understand. They invented a thousand ways this was going to be answered and rectified.Â They just knew that some great thing was going to happen to prevent…to stop all this.Â But eventually all hope was gone.
This sounds a lot like when we are asked to wait…to wait…to wait…to wait…to wait…to wait.Â Hope is diminishing. There is no way out.Â We expect a miracle…we have a timeline and the timeline runs out. Despair sets in…hope deferred makes the heart sick.Â The instrument indicates that the situation has flat lined…there is no heartbeat…and no one comes to the rescue.Â The patient is dead…the situation is hopeless.Â And ultimately, we utter these words, “God where are you?”
Think on these things.
Billy and Sheilah Dawsby