Luke 23:44-49, “Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, ‘Certainly this was a righteous Man!’ And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.”
From the time of Judas’ betrayal to the time leading up to Jesus on the cross, much transpired. Events leading up to Jesus on the cross: Jesus and the disciples at Passover, The Lord’s Supper, arguing by the disciples, prediction of the denial of Peter, prayer in the garden, betrayal and arrest, Peter denies Jesus thrice, Jesus mocked and beaten, Jesus handed over to Pontius Pilate and Herod, and then hung on the cross. The passage I chose to focus on is Jesus at His last hours on Earth.
The time was the sixth hour. To understand this, you must first understand the Hebrew time scale. Their time scale went on a 12-hour scale. This meant from sunrise to sunset is how the counting of time went. The sixth hour would then be interpreted as noon or 12 pm in our time today. From the sixth hour (Noon) to the ninth hour (3 in the afternoon, there was darkness over all the Earth. This was in preparation for what was to come.
The sun was then darkened and the veil that was in the temple that was next to the Holy of Holies was torn in two from the top to the bottom. This veil was very tall, showing that this veil was torn by God and not by man. It was also very thick as not to be cut. The veil tearing is also significant as it shows that the need for a mediator to God is met in Jesus and the old way is gone and the new way is here.
Jesus then gave up, breathed His last, and died. Through history, we know that crucifixion is a slow and painful death. It is slow on purpose as to be humiliating to all those watching as well as to the criminals who were being crucified. Most people would be able to hang for hours or even days if left alone. A way to speed up death was to break the legs of the person so that they could not raise their legs to breathe easier. After the legs are broken, death would come much more quickly. The fact that Jesus died quickly with broken bones shows two things: a fulfillment of prophesy and that he died in God’s timing, not man’s.
There was a centurion standing by who would have been in charge of the deaths at the time. As he watched Jesus died, he realized something. Jesus was truly all man and all God. He used the word “righteous.” Righteousness is only possible with God. As the crowds were jeering, mocking and shouting, this one man, though Roman, saw Jesus for who He was and is: God in man form.
After Jesus died, the whole crowd that was there collectively beat their chest as a sign of remorse. This is recorded a few times in the Bible, always as a sign that someone was sad or mourning. This site, though for a crowd, was still a sad sight to see, regardless of how cruel the person might be.
Jesus’ friends, acquaintances and His followers stood at a distance to watch this ordeal. This would have been out of fear of the crowds and not wanting to be too close to see what was happening. Crucifixions were very gruesome and some of these people may not have had the “stomach” for it. Whatever the case, the people who were closest to Jesus during His life were the ones that were furthest from Him in death.
Jesus was then buried in a tomb. Since Jesus died near the 3 pm time and the end of the day was 6 pm, the followers of Christ would have to have hurried to get Him off the cross and buried. The next day was the Sabbath and the Sabbath starts on Friday night and goes until Saturday night. It was against Sabbatical law to have a man on a cross or even have anyone working on the Sabbath. Jesus lived and died and was buried. Tomorrow, I will show what happens to Jesus after the burial.
Thank You for Jesus’ death on the cross. Without it, we have no salvation. Without it, there is no removal of sin. Without the removal of sin, there is no chance to reach Heaven. No chance to be with God ever again. We know that we put You in a horrible position to give up Your only Son to save us. Thank You for loving us enough to do what You did. You are an amazing God that we can never repay. I pray that all who can know You come to know You. You are worth knowing by all that can.
In Your name we pray,