The Darkness at the Cross – by Des Ford
May 12, 2015 4004
From noon onward darkness came over the whole land until 3:00 in the afternoon and about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, ‘ which means, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” – Matt 27:45.
He could stand it when his own nation turned against him. He could stand it when the religious leaders appointed by God stood against him. He stood it when his disciples forsook him and fled; he could stand it when one of his disciples swore he never knew Christ. He could stand it when the representatives of justice were unjust.
But now when God forsakes him, “My God, my God, why have YOU forsaken me?”, of course, he asks that question that our attention might be directed to the why. I want you to think on that darkness for a little bit. It is full of symbolism. It was, of course, a sacred concealment of the agonies of the Lord as he endured the second death.
The second death is separation from God. No one knows the second death until judgment day or when they have sinned away their day of grace. So the darkness of the cross was a concealment, the sacred cloistering of the Master.
The darkness at the cross was also a hint that we will never fully understand what happened there, that it is a mystery. We have all sorts of metaphors about the cross, propitiation, reconciliation, justification, and sacrifice–they are all pictures. They all tell some aspect of the truth but the whole meaning of the cross we will never fully understand. It is a great mystery and the darkness betokened that.
The darkness at the cross was also a symbol of the way evil tries to obscure the cross. In churches today if you raise up the cross too high you may be rebuked. You may be accused as Paul was accused. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have the same accusations made against you as were made against Paul, you are not proclaiming the Gospel. They said about Paul, “Paul you are saying the law is abolished! Paul, you aresaying we can sin and get away with it!”
Wherever the Gospel is preached, those accusations always come. Truth and error lie very close together. So in that darkness we see the hatred of evil for the cross and all who try to live by the cross.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32 (Adapted from “When God Pretends”)