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The Hour of Darkness

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The Hour of Darkness

Plot Points
In his last hours with his disciples, Jesus took time to teach them what true servanthood looks like and express his love for them, knowing they would abandon him. It had been an eventful week…
Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey.
Matt. 21:1–17; Mark 11:1–11; Luke 19:29–44
Jesus curses the fig tree.
Matt. 21:18–19; Mark 11:12–14
Jesus cleanses the temple.
Matt. 21:12–13; Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45–46
Jesus’ authority is questioned.
Matt. 21:23–22:14; Mark 11:27–12:12; Luke 20:1–19
Jesus teaches in the temple.
Matt. 22:41–46; Mark 12:35–37; Luke 20:41–44
Mary anoints Jesus.
Matt. 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; John 12:2–8
Opponents form a plot to betray Jesus.
Matt. 26:14–16; Mark 14:10–11; Luke 22:3–6
Jesus presides at the Last Supper.
Matt. 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–25; Luke 22:7–30
Jesus prays in Gethsemane.
Matt. 26:30–46; Mark 14:26–42; Luke 22:39–46; John 18:1
Then we get to Friday… (Let’s read Luke 22.52-53)
Luke 22:52–53 NIV84
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
The arrest of Jesus – the moment the haters of Jesus had longed for came after the Last Supper, Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Judas.
In fact, John tells us that Judas Iscariot led a “Roman cohort” to the garden to identify Him (John 18:3). A Roman cohort was a battalion – 600 soldiers, a tenth of a legion! It took 600 soldiers to arrest Jesus Christ!
When Jesus asked them whom they were seeking, and they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene,” He spoke three words: “I am He.” And the Bible says the entire battalion “drew back and fell to the ground” (John 18:6 NIV).
Six hundred soldiers felled by three words! Notice that the text says, “This is YOUR hour” – the hour when Satan’s power would reign supreme. Enjoy YOUR hour, you wicked men, because JESUS’ hour had not yet come!
Matthew 27:32–50 NIV84
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

The Sacrifice

Without question, the crucifixion of Jesus was a terrible event... a. It was an excruciating and painful way to die, which Jesus was willing to accept without pain-killing drugs - Mt 27:32-35
It was a shameful way to die, mocked by those who watched, crucified with common thieves - Mt 27:36-44
Along with the physical suffering, there was the spiritual agony - Mt 27:45-50
While there may be a place for contemplating upon the actual physical agony Jesus endured... a. Jesus did not want people to weep for Him, but for themselves…
Luke 23:26–31 NIV84
As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then “ ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
The significance and lessons to be learned from the crucifixion go far beyond feeling sorry for what Jesus suffered. For example, we should never forget that "The Crucifixion Of Jesus" is...

Jesus Killed Sin

Romans 8:3–4 NIV84
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
8:3–4. Having stated the fact of freedom, Paul then explained how it is achieved. He declared again the impossibility of attaining freedom over sin through the (Mosaic) Law. It was powerless to free from sin. Not that the Law was weak in itself (as many translations suggest), for it was good (7:12). But because of sinful human nature, the Law could not deliver from sin. The words “sinful nature” translate sarx (lit., “flesh”), which can mean either human sinful corruption or human weakness (cf. 7:5, 18, 25; 8:4–5, 8–9, 12–13).
God accomplished deliverance over sin, however, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man (lit., “likeness of flesh of sin”). Jesus was sent not in sinful flesh but in the likeness of it. His human nature was protected and preserved from the indwelling principle of sin that has plagued all other human beings since Adam (cf. Luke 1:35). He was also sent, literally “concerning or for sin” (peri harmartias, not as the niv has it, to be a sin offering). In other words He came to do something about sin. What He did was to condemn it; by His death on the cross, He condemned sin (katekrinen, “passed a judicial sentence on it”; cf. katakrima, “punishment,” Rom. 8:1) so that those in Christ are not condemned. The goal of this was so that the righteous requirements of the Law—a life of holiness (Lev. 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:7)—could be fully met as believers do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. The provision of deliverance from the power of sin is through the death of Jesus Christ, but experiencing it in one’s daily conduct comes through the controlling power of the Holy Spirit.

Love One Another

1.Through the cross we now understand the meaning of true love… ●
1 John 3:16 (NIV84) — 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
John 15:13 (NIV84) — 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
2. His love serves as the pattern for our love –
John 13:34–35 (NIV84) — 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
May our contemplation of the crucifixion remind us of the high standard of love we are called to show toward one another –
1 John 4:11 (NIV84) — 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
2 Corinthians 5:18–21 NIV84
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
JESUS DIED FOR ALL... 1. God desires all men to be saved, not desiring any to perish - 1Ti 2:3-6; 2Pe 3:9
2. Therefore He offered Jesus as a propitiation for all - 1Jn 2: 1-2
May our meditation upon the crucifixion include thinking about the need of others
JESUS IS THE WORLD'S ONLY HOPE... 1. He is the only way to the Father - Jn 14:6
2. Only in His name is salvation to be found - Ac 4:12
3. Deny the Son, and one does not have the Father - 1Jn 2:23
4. Abide in His doctrine, and one has both the Father and the Son - 2Jn 9
May our meditation upon the crucifixion move us to do what we can to proclaim the message of redemption to those lost in sin - cf. 2Co 5:18-6:1


1.Certainly more could be said about "The Crucifixion Of Jesus"
2. But perhaps these few thoughts will increase our appreciation of this significant event...
a. His death is the condemnation of sin
b. His death is the revelation of love
c. His death is the redemption of the world
d. His death is the inspiration of sacrifice
3. Have you taken advantage of what "The Crucifixion Of Jesus" means for you...?
a. Have you been crucified with Christ?
b. Are you putting to death the deeds of the flesh?
c. Are you growing in love?
d. Are you concerned and doing something about the redemption of the world?
e. Are you inspired in your service to your brethren and the lost by the example of Jesus' sacrifice?
In the words of the apostle Paul: "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain." (2 Co 6:1)
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