The total eclipse. Did you get to see it? It has been in the news much of this past year. It was extraordinary in the fact that it crossed the entire continuous United States.
“Totality” became “the” word. Totally, completely, fully. A moment when the earth, moon and sun exactly lined up and there was darkness. This was predicted, 38 years ago.
How could scientists be so very certain? Because, God is a God of order. His Creation is perfect. His timing always “on time.” I hope you took a moment to marvel at the wonder of our Creator.
Approximately 2017 years ago, the entire world turned dark, at noon. But the sun was hidden not for just a few minutes of totality, but for three hours. It did not happen gradually, it happened suddenly.
During that time, a moment recorded in history, a great earthquake occurred; rocks were split into pieces; graves opened and people rose and walked about and were seen in the Holy City, Jerusalem; and the curtain in the temple, which kept people out of the very holiest part, was split from top to bottom.
The darkness remained until the Son of God, who was crucified upon a cross, cried out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me” and gave up His Spirit.
This was not a natural phenomenon; it was spiritual. This darkness occurred during the observance of the Jewish Passover, which is always observed during the full moon.
During a full moon, the moon is on the far side of the earth, so it is impossible for it to pass between the earth and sun causing a solar eclipse. Astronomers also report the longest possible solar eclipse “totality” could only last 7 minutes; it would be an impossibility for it to last three hours, because of the unchanging lunar orbit.
Can you imagine the fear, then the silence, the darkness? No stars appeared in the sky. Utter darkness.
Did it occur because the entire universe grieved? Could it be that human eyes could not withstand to witness of the agony of our Savior as he suffered the punishment for all human race? We do not know, but what we do know is that this was no ordinary day in time; for it was no ordinary man who was murdered upon that particular cross.
Historians state the people were greatly feared; they smote their breasts in deep grief. The Roman executioner, who carried out the wishes of the Jewish people, said, “Truly, this was the Son of God.” The promised Messiah.
Read Matthew 27: 57-66. Read about this in Mark and Luke, who were eyewitnesses. Historians Thallus, Philegon and Africanus recorded the hours of darkness.
This is not something conjured up. It occurred, just as the prophet Amos spoke (Amos 8:9), approximately 750 years before. “On that day, says the Lord God, I will make the sun to go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight.” The 6th hour; 12:00 noon.
The long awaited Messiah had come, but they couldn’t see Him. They did not believe Him. He was not the Messiah they expected or wanted. He was a gentle Man of love and peace.
He was not a warrior or a King, in the earthly sense. He said, “Love one another.” “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the Children of God.” “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” He was not the Messiah they expected. Their view was blocked by their own expectations.
What blocks your view of The Son? Pride? Simple disbelief because His Love doesn’t make sense? Because you weren’t raised that way?
Where are you in “totality” with Jesus Christ? Are you just a little bit “in,” or just a little bit “out?”
At the end of life, which can happen in a moment and unexpectedly, there is no “little bit in or out,” it’s “totality.” Total, complete, fully.
Just as with the eclipse this past Monday, there is a “too late.” The moment will pass, and there is no second chance.
My question is not about religion, for religion is man made, and it is flawed. The question is about your life, on both sides of death; for He is Lord, on both sides of death.
Cheryl Mishler4 Posts
Cheryl Mishler serves as the Area Minister for Churches of the Brethren in Abilene, Topeka, and Washington, Lincoln and Carleton, Nebraska. She has served as minister for the Washington Church of the Brethren, Buckeye Church of the Brethren in Abilene and as associate pastor for the Rochester Community Church of the Brethren in Topeka. She was called to serve my home church in Sabetha, at Second and Main Streets, in 2011.