Mark 15:33 (NLT)
33 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 34 Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Darkness fell on the people as the sins of humanity were being placed upon Christ. At a time when the sun should have been its brightest, it was dark. Joel 3:14-16 says, “Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the Lord will soon arrive. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will no longer shine. The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel.” As God turned away from His own Son to place the sins of sinners upon Christ Jesus yelled out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
The Book of Martyrs by John Fox was first published by John Day in 1563. The book also known as “Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, touching Matters of the Church” gives an account of the persecution of Protestants. The book focused on those who became martyrs under Mary Tudor, queen of England, who was given the nickname “Bloody Mary” for the many executions that took place under her reign. One such martyr written about in Mr. Fox’s book was Dr. Hunter. It is said that as Dr. Hunter was being fastened to the stake to be burnt alive, he uttered a short prayer, “Son of God shine upon me.” Immediately at that moment the sun shone out of a dark cloud so full and bright in his face he had to look away. His prayer was answered and the comfort of Christ came to him just before his death. On the contrary Christ was denied any light. The light of God was removed and the sky’s darkened. Christ did not complain on the cross of those who were torturing Him or of those who denied Him or the disciples who had abandoned Him. Yet Christ cried out as He felt God abandon Him to the sins of the world. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” Praise God that He has given His light of redemption to us. Thank Him for the light of Christ which lives in us and can shine on others.