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When Did You Last Experience Complete Darkness?

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
September 24, 2021 1:00 am

When Did You Last Experience Complete Darkness?

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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September 24, 2021 1:00 am

Stu & Robby are in Luke 23: 44-48, when complete darkness descended at high noon, during the execution of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

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This is Chris Hughes with the Christian Perspective Podcast with Chris Hughes, where we encourage our listeners to engage the culture with Jesus Christ. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds, so enjoy it, share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. All the lights went out.

It turned pitch black at high noon. But why? Enter one of the greatest mysteries in all of history. With me is my sidekick, man of God, mentor, friend, longtime talk show host himself, the Christian car guy, Robbie Dilmore. Robbie, we're in Luke chapter 23.

This is sacred ground. Theologians, by the way, for centuries have been baffled by what happened here in the words of Jesus coming out of the darkness. Will you read the text for us? And then we're going to jump right into these questions and work our way through this amazing piece of sacred Scripture.

Absolutely. Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over 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 see the sight, seeing what had happened, beat their breasts and returned. But all his acquaintances and the women who followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. So here you have an epic event in history, Robbie. And go ahead and fire up that first question to get us into the context.

So, great question. And really, what led up to this was a lot of suffering, a lot of just absolute evil just hurled out on Jesus. He would have been on that cross since about 9 a.m., or that's considered the third hour.

He would have spoken three of his cross statements by now, which we've gone over. A word of forgiveness, Father forgive them, they know not what they do. A word of pardon to a thief, and then this beautiful word of provision to Mary and John, giving her a son as she's losing her firstborn son on that cross, giving him a mom as he may have been without parents.

So really a beautiful picture, caring for the widow and caring for the orphan. So as the sixth hour approached, which would have been nude, amidst all the heinous torture of crucifix, the blasphemous rantings of the mob, someone else makes his presence known at the noon hour at Golgotha, the place of the school. God the Father shows up and displays his presence in divine wrath, a wrath which envelops Jesus, God the Son, as he pays for our sins in our place on the cross. And here for the first time in his earthly ministry, Jesus does not refer to God as Father. He's always called him Father. He's always prayed to the Father. He says, as the Father sent me, so I send you. But here he cries out, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? So it's a beautiful statement that he has made leading up to this point. God's poured his wrath out, and there's this idea of divine forsakenness, and there's this question of exactly what happened.

What was going on with Jesus, with God, that would lead to this critical moment? Robbie, it's profound stuff, and it's truly sacred ground. It is.

It is. So I have got a poem here that has been written. It's in my book, Last Words of Jesus, which the whole book is about this, these profound sayings of Jesus from the cross. And in the book there's this poem, and I put it in here. It's from a great man of God that has long been dead. Read the dead guys, by the way.

They have the good stuff, believe it or not. But here's the poem. Three hours of unfathomed pain, of drops falling like summer rain, earth's sympathy and heavens eclipse. Three hours, the pale and dying lips, by their silence teach, things far more beautiful than speech, in depth or height, can ever reach. So in these final hours of Jesus, he says some of the most profound things. Some say the greatest sermon he ever preached, just immense wealth of theology, of divinity to be mined, to be learned from. And you have infinite suffering by Jesus Christ.

One crumb maker says it this way. He says, The Lord himself in these three hours withdrew himself from the eyes of men behind the black curtain of appalling night, as behind the thick veil of the temple. He hung there in full three hours on the cross, his thorn-crowned head thoughtfully drooping on his breast, involved in the darkness. He is in that most holy place. He stands at the altar of the Lord. He performs his sacrificial functions.

He is the true Aaron, and at the same time he is the Lamb of God. So you have this darkness, you have this utterance of, you know, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And then you have the final words he says from the cross, which really, a lot of his mission is found in these words as well.

And Robbie, I guess that, you know, this is what the next question points to right here. So what's so important about Jesus' final dying words from the cross? So these final dying words, and this part too will in a way answer that question with a question. So how does this show his willingness to lay down his life?

Yeah, so really beautiful. Verse 46, when Jesus cried out with a loud voice, he said, Father. Now how did he open at the cross?

Father, forgive. He closes at the cross. He opens the cross as an intercessor, right, for the sins of man. He closes at the cross, the great intercessor.

He says, into your hands I commit my spirit. And having said this, he breathed his last. So these are the final words of Jesus as he died, and you have seven total statements of Christ by the way. Three are in Luke 23, which we've covered in this study on Experience Truth. Three are in John 19. And then one, the profound one about, you know, my God, my God, that is both in Matthew and Mark.

It's so profound, but it's the only word from the cross that's in those two Gospels, interesting enough. So here you have Jesus willingly laying down his life. Some folks might say, well, they took his life from him. They killed him. It was, you know, they were in control the whole time. But Robbie, who's really in control the whole time? Yeah, obviously, clearly, God. And here 2,000 years ago, who's really in control?

Yeah, he is. From his dying moment, atoning for our sins, he laid his life down. He willingly gave up his spirit and breathed his last.

And he willingly lives to intercede for us, and he is sovereign and in control. And we see that ever more present in, you know, these final words. And it's profound. I mean, it's a lot to think about, that his father, that he's laying his hands down in his father's. And then the repercussions of all this gets even more intense. Yeah, so what's significant about the veil being torn in two?

Wow. The veil was torn in two. That veil was massive. That veil was, they say it would take several men on horseback to take that veil down. And that veil was thick, maybe, you know, two or three feet thick, and heavy. So for it to be torn from top to bottom indicated the hand of God. And it also, the veil stands for access to God. You know, the Holy of Holies, no one would go in there through that curtain. No one could go there.

That's why it was so thick. To go in there would be certain death, unless you're the high priest, and this is the Day of Atonement, and unless you are completely pimped out like you're supposed to be, you know, according to law. And there's chapters and chapters of this in the Old Testament, making sure these guys are washed properly, cleansed properly, wearing the proper, you know, clothing and ephods and all that stuff that go from their head to their toe. They had to be right. There's a rope attached to them, so in case something did go wrong, they could pull them out and pull their dead body out. So you don't mess with that. So here Jesus Christ in his, you know, the veil is torn from top to bottom.

What a beautiful thing. Confirming his earlier word, it is finished. He made access to Almighty God. He tore the veil, which is his body, on that cross. So now we can say, Abba, Father, Robbie, how does that change everything in our lives? God's no longer your judge in Christ.

He made access. By Him we have access, Hebrews chapter 4 tells us, into the Father. Is that not a blessed promise?

Oh, it's beyond beautiful, especially when you think about what was in the Ark of the Covenant. What was behind that curtain was the manna. It was the law. It was the staff that budded. All that now belongs in our hearts, right?

We get manna every morning if we get up and get it. If we read the Word like you obviously did to get this stuff, we get, right, the law. It was written on your heart as a result of that curtain being torn in two. You had access directly to the law. Now the law is not our enemy condemning us.

The law is our friend informing us and growing us, right? Right, and then that staff that budded is the most beautiful of all three, see, because the staff was an almond staff, and that was the first fruits that budded in all of Israel. So when that staff is a picture of literally Jesus, it is the commander-in-chief of your heart. That is so cool.

And we have all access to that, not only past the veil, but we have access to the mercy seat in our heart. That's something. Now we're going to pick up on that. I want to ask this question next time. Okay, Robbie, we'll come back to it. Can you hang around? Can you come back next time? Okay, please. I love having you here. That right there, the almond-budded staff right there was worth me getting up out of bed this morning to hear you share that. Now, but check this out, guys.

Just think about this. Many of you don't know this. I asked Anne Graham Lotz, what is your favorite thing Jesus said from the cross, when she agreed to endorse my book, Last Words of Jesus. She said, I love the statement that Jesus made, Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit. And I said, Anne Graham Lotz, did you know that that statement is a direct quote from Psalm 31.5? Did you know that that was actually a common prayer that Hebrew moms and dads would pray with their children before putting them in bed?

Isn't that beautiful? The whole verse says, Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit. Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord of truth. Jesus doesn't say that part.

Why? Because He is the Lord of truth. He is the Redeemer. He is in His redeeming act, right? But the beautiful thing is, we can lay in bed and rest because Jesus rested for us. Jesus completed His work. So that prayer, so Hebrew moms and dads would pray that, much like we pray, now I laid down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I die before I wake.

You know what? Of course, Christian parents this day are like, why do we pray that? I mean, it's like, we got a little, we got a little four-year-old who's now scared to death about going, if I die before I wake, you know, I'll pray with him. But the Hebrew moms and dads would pray that. Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit. A beautiful quote directly from Psalm 31 5, and this idea of Father, man, this is safe, into Thy hands. Look at the mighty hands of God all throughout Scripture. His hands to heal, His hands to lead us, His hands to protect us, His hands to provide for us. I mean, you have the hands of God everywhere. So here, Jesus Christ is laying His hands, His heart, His life, bringing His last into the mighty hands of God as He closes out. And I want that to be my prayer every day. Father, into Thy hands, not Stu's hands, not Robbie's hands, into Thy hands, I commit my spirit. And have I truly come to a point where I've gone through that veil and I've received the gift of salvation? He's hanging on that cross, outstretched arms, inviting you to trust Him, inviting you into a relationship with the Father. Either Jesus Christ, either you will receive Him and bow to Him and receive Him, or He will be your judge. Either God, the Father, will be your Father through Christ, or He will be your judge. You can't be on both sides of the aisle, and that's why we do this program.

That's why we have all these awesome affiliates. That's why we come in here and study God's Word, to share it with you, to invite you to come to know Him. So stop fighting. Quit fooling around. Trust Jesus.

Pull over your car. Get out Luke chapter 23. Read the Word of God, study the Word of God, and commit your life to Jesus Christ. Trust Him. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

It's as simple as that. And thou shalt be saved. Rest in His mighty hands, because He is mighty to save. That's our prayer for you. Thanks for being with us. Robbie, thank you for being with me today on Experienced Truth. We're gonna come back next time, because there's so much more. We're gonna go back into the veil. It's a place we all need to live and talk about. And then we're gonna also look at this remarkable confession of the guy leading the whole execution of Jesus next time, right here on Experienced Truth. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-19 22:24:15 / 2023-08-19 22:30:16 / 6

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