44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.
This morning I would like to turn to the words of Dr. J. Vernon McGee regarding the darkness covering the land in Jesus final three hours. I trust you will find it as encouraging as I have.
Now will you notice this: the first three hours were from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon; the second three hours were from 12 noon to 3:00 p.m. Jesus hung on the Cross for six hours. In the first three hours there was physical light; in the second three hours there was physical darkness. But in the first three hours there was spiritual darkness; in the second three hours there was spiritual light. Why? Because in those first three hours man did his worst. They crucified Him and they reviled Him. Even those who were hanging with Him on the Cross reviled Him. At least at the first, both thieves did. At that time His enemies, marching around down beneath the Cross, were wagging their heads and ridiculing Him. In the first three hours man was working, doing his very worst; in the second three hours God was working. He was suffering at the hands of man in the first three hours; He was suffering for man in the last three hours. In the first three hours He was dying because of sin, in the second three hours He was dying for the sin of the world. So during the time of the physical darkness, there was actually spiritual light and God was working. In those first three hours sin was doing all it could to destroy Him; in the second three hours He is making His soul an offering for sin. In those last three hours He is paying for the sins of the world. It was during this period that He was made sin for us; He became sin for us. He was forsaken of God and yet, even at that time, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). What a paradox we find here.