Darkness came over the whole land … for the sun stopped shining.
Without light, we all operate in the dark. It was fitting, therefore, that the first thing God created was light. Darkness is not sin. Sin, however, does darken the world. It turns out the light. It undoes God’s good creation. Sin is anti-light and anti-life. As a result, darkness is often used in the Bible as a metaphor for sin.
The crucifixion of Jesus was the ultimate result of sin. The life of the Lord of life and of the sun’s Creator was being extinguished. Jesus, the light of the world, was going out. No wonder the sun stopped shining. So as the Creator died in our place to pay the full price for our sin, the world was draped in mourner’s dress.
There was another time when the sun stopped shining. It happened during one of the plagues God sent because Pharaoh of Egypt would not let Israel go free. The ninth plague was the plague of darkness, and it was followed by the tenth plague—death to all the firstborn in Egypt who were not protected by the blood of an unblemished lamb (see Exodus 12).
That finally moved Pharaoh to let Israel go. That’s how God set his people free.
Well, the darkness at Jesus’ crucifixion was a sign that by Jesus’ death God would set his people free. And if the Son of God, the Lamb of God, sets you free, you are free indeed—freed from sin, to live for God forever!
Thank you, Father, that in faith we may see beyond the darkness of Jesus’ death and see the light of new life. Receive our thanks in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
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