Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17, 2011 … Supernatural Darkness

Passage of the Day: Matthew 27: 45 … [During Christ’s crucifixion] From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.

My Journal for Today: John MacArthur in his devotional for this date from Strength for Today helped me learn about this darkness that enveloped the countryside at mid-day during Christ’s crucifixion. The darkness referred to in today’s verse has been historically confirmed to have taken place worldwide at the very moment of time mentioned in this scripture. Most certainly it could not have been caused by a parallel-occurring solar eclipse. That is astronomical and scientific fact.

MacArthur posits, and I agree, that this darkness was like that reported repeatedly put forth by Jesus in the book of Matthew (see Matt. 8: 12; 22: 13; 25: 30), … a darkness where there will be “…weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This is the outer darkness associated with God’s judgment; and MacArthur indicates that this was the darkness in Matt. 27: 45, a darkness which shadowed the world, indicating the spiritual time when God’s wrath was visited upon Jesus, as our Lord took upon His shoulders the sinfulness of mankind.

This was time of the “cup” which Christ dreaded so much as he shed drops of blood, sweat, and tears in the Garden of Gethsemane. This was the moment when God, the Father, turned His back on His Son because the Son had taken upon Him the sins of all mankind. This was the darkest moment in the history of mankind – literally and spiritually. It was the time when the Lamb of God was slain; and MacArthur says that the darkness on that day was “… a graphic portrayal of the cross as the focal point of God’s wrath, a place of His immense judgment … a place of horrible spiritual darkness.”

And yet, three days later, in the event that all believers associate with the Light of the World, Christ was risen; and now we associate sin with darkness (as in today’s verse) and light with God’s holiness and purity … and of course, with Christ Himself. To be in the light is to be in Christ. To be in the darkness is to be under the influence of Satan, sin, and self.

In the ministry which I’ve been called and ordained to lead, BattlePlan Ministry, which helps men come out of the darkness of sexual sin into the light of purity and victory in Christ, the men often, upon confessing some episode of sin to their fellow BPM warriors in our men’s discipleship meetings, refer to actually “feeling” the light of Christ when they are cleansed of the darkness of sin, i.e., experiencing the light which comes from cleansing confession (see 1st John 1: 9 and/or 2nd Cor. 5: 17).

So, may we ever be in pursuit of God’s light and doing all we can to avoid the darkness of our sin nature.

My Prayer Today: Lord, I go to Your light! Amen

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