45 From noon until three in the afternoon the whole earth was dark. 46 At about three Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,” which means, “My God, my God, why have you left me?”
47 After hearing him, some standing there said, “He’s calling Elijah.”48 One of them ran over, took a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a pole. He offered it to Jesus to drink.
49 But the rest of them said, “Let’s see if Elijah will come and save him.”
50 Again Jesus cried out with a loud shout. Then he died.
51 Look, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split, 52 and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised. 53 After Jesus’ resurrection they came out of their graves and went into the holy city where they appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and what had just happened, they were filled with awe and said, “This was certainly God’s Son.”
55 Many women were watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to serve him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons (Matthew 27:44-56, Common English Bible).
For weeks, many of us heard about the coming eclipse. That particular day I was at my mother’s home in the Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio. My sister was there along with an elementary school-aged girl my sister has kind of adopted as a granddaughter. When the eclipse was at its height, I took the girl outside to show her the old paper trick where you poke a small hole in one piece of paper and then hold it above another piece and you can see the eclipse on the second piece of paper.
It didn’t get dark on us that day. It wasn’t dark anywhere in Texas, or at least that was my understanding. I did see pictures from the Midwest a little later in the day. These were pictures where it was noticeably darker than we typically see at mid-day, even on a cloudy day.
In my imagination, that is how things looked the day Jesus was crucified. It looked like an eclipse, but perhaps darker.
I have often wondered, why did this not get the attention of the Jews or the Romans. As superstitious as the people of that era tended to be, you would think they might be able to put two and two together. We are crucifying Jesus. The sky just became dark. Maybe, just maybe, God isn’t very happy with what we are doing. Perhaps we need to rethink our actions.
We often tend to be much the same way. Perhaps the signs are not as obvious for us, but all too often, God sends us messages that are both obvious and clear and somehow, despite how easy it might be to see, we manage to ignore it and in doing so, we ignore God.
Could it be, when we manage to ignore God, the sky becomes just a little darker? Maybe, but probably not. I do think God became sad that day. And, when God sends us a sign, obvious or not, and we miss the sign, God becomes a little sad because God knows the plans God has in mind for you, they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11, paraphrased).
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved