Bible lessons Spiritual encouragement

What caused the darkness over all the land when Jesus was crucified?

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Photo by karen kayser on Unsplash

The Bible says, while Jesus was being crucified, “from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land” (Matthew 27:45). Some have suggested it was, perhaps, a solar eclipse that caused the sun to go dark for 3 hours during Jesus crucifixion. However, Jesus was crucified on the first day of Passover, which always occurs under a full moon. And it’s impossible, within natural laws, for a solar eclipse to occur during the period of a full moon.

A solar eclispe occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun during daylight hours. This makes the moon look black and allows only a diminished amount of sunlight to reach the affected areas on earth during the elipse. (Although, it appears more like the fading light of evening, rather than a full “darkness.”)

To better understand what is happening during a solar eclispe, if you were to look into the sky the night before a solar eclipse, you wouldn’t be able see the moon because the moon rises and sets with the sun. You can check this for yourself during the next phase of a “new moon.” You won’t be able to see the moon during the night because the moon is “up” only during the daytime sky. (Although you might not be able to see moon during the day because the sunlight overpowers our visibility of the moon.)

The opposite is true of a full moon. The moon is on the opposite side of the earth during daylight hours and that is why there can’t be a solar eliscipe during a full moon. The moon can’t pass between the earth and the sun during daylight hours.

Passover has been set to begin with a full moon since it was first instituted by God. So, it wasn’t a solar eclipse that blocked out the sun’s light when Jesus was on the cross. Rather, God himself miraculously placed a darkness over all the land on that day. And, it was such a strange occurance, that the darkness over all the land was documented in other cultures as well.

Yet, God’s blocking out the sun’s light for several hours was trivial compared to what our Lord did on the cross. Jesus Christ, “who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing. . . and humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!” (Phil 2:6-8).

Why would Jesus submit himself to death on a cross? Because He loves the world (people) with an infinite love, and His sacrifice was the only way for a man to be reconciled with God.

His love for people is boundless and includes every person, “whosoever.” Yes, that includes you . . . and me. Jesus showed the ultimate expression of His love for us at Calvary.

It humbles me to know my Lord loves me more than I am capable of comprehending. And it amazes me that He would die for me, knowing me as only He does.

“How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph 3:18).

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