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My Ěl, My Ěl, why have You forsaken Me

Psalm 22...

On Friday 29th of March 2024 Christians around the world celebrate what is called Good Friday.
This is a very important time for us all and rightly so, because our thoughts go to the day when Jesus was crucified.

The title of our message “The darkest day” was chosen because according to the scriptural account, darkness fell on the Earth at the sixth hour. 

And when the sixth hour came, darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour. Mark 15:33

I have heard many sermons about how God the father had to turn His back on his only Son at that moment and rightly so because Jesus did not just take away our sin—He became sin, but is that the reason for the darkness? A priestly ministry was being performed and a transferral took place. If He had merely taken away sin, without totally dealing with the very principle of sin, we would remain forever in a fallen sinful state.

In the old Testament Tabernacle worship, the high priest had to enter the outer court as we all do, through the only entrance available in the tabernacle complex. Jesus is the door. The first thing that he saw was an altar on which sacrifice by the shedding of blood and burned offering was made. He then had to go wash at the brass Laver for two reasons. The first was that by making the very sacrifice that God had commanded, it contaminated the man. He then had to wash in fresh water and so doing, he peered down at his own reflection. He needed to see who he was and where he stood before God before proceeding any further. The significance to Christians is that this represents the washing of water by the word of God.

The priest then entered into the holy place where he saw the golden candlestick that was the only illumination inside. All worship outside was in the natural realm but once he entered into God’s dimension, the natural was replaced by the supernatural or Spirit. Without that, all of our worship and understanding is in the realm of the natural.

There is an order of progression for us that is inescapable. The priest also saw the table of shewbread and the altar of incense. The altar of incense was the last item of furniture in that Holy place because Immediately behind it was that vail that separated man from God. On the other side was the Ark of the Covenant on which high priest sprinkled blood to atone for the sins of the people.

The only problem with this ceremony was that it merely covered but did not eradicate sin, so this had to be repeated every year.

Jesus however who is our Kohan Gadol—our great high priest made a once and for all time offering that not only forgave our sins—He eradicated the very sin principle itself. Some people advocate that we need to keep repenting, but that imposes guilt, accusation and condemnation on others.

When we come to the Lord, confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, He forgives us then and there and declares us not guilty. After that, if and when we transgress, we come to Him again as seen in 1 John chapter two. 

This chapter describes different kinds of people as Teknion (infants), Priodion (half-grown children), Neaiskos (Youths and people up to the age of 40) and patēr  (fully grown and mature people). The church is comprized of all such believers. Mature believers have come to realize that we are complete in Him; that our sins have been eradicated and that we are now members of the Body of Christ.

For he is the complete fullness of deity living in human form. And our own completeness is now found in him. We are completely filled with God as Christ’s fullness overflows within us. He is the Head of every kingdom and authority in the universe! 

Through our union with him we have experienced circumcision of heart. All of the guilt and power of sin has been cut away and is now extinct because of what Christ, the Anointed One, has accomplished for us. 

For we’ve been buried with him into his death. Our “baptism into death” also means we were raised with him when we believed in God’s resurrection power, the power that raised him from death’s realm. This “realm of death” describes our former state, for we were held in sin’s grasp. But now, we’ve been resurrected out of that “realm of death” never to return, for we are forever alive and forgiven of all our sins! 

He canceled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all—our sins, our stained soul—he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved! Everything we once were in Adam has been placed onto his cross and nailed permanently there as a public display of cancellation. 

Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his! Colossians 2:9-15 


I would like you to take some time and read Leviticus chapter sixteen. As you do, please think of what Jesus did for us and remember that He was our Kohen Gadol, or our Great High Priest. What God commanded Aaron to do, Jesus did in fulfillment.
If Aaron had to prepare himself first before making sacrifice, so did Jesus.

Aaron was to offer a young bull as a sin offering and a lamb as a burnt offering, to wash himself and dress himself in the priestly garments and then to take to goats from the people for a sin offering and a burnt offering. If Jesus had to do likewise, it had to take some time, but He was that offering!

Aaron then had to place them at the opening of the tent of meeting and cast lots for the offering. Lots were cast with Jesus' clothing.

One Goat was for God, The other was called Azazel

The goat chosen for God was sacrificed.

The Azazel was set free. The sins of the people were symbolically transferred to the goat as it went into the wilderness and never seen again. A Jewish tradition states that the priest tied a red ribbon to this goat and if God accepted this transferral, the ribbon turned white as it wandered off. I cannot substantiate that, but the concept is interesting.

What I shall say however is that Jesus is our sacrificial goat and that our sins were placed on that scapegoat.

The account states that darkness fell and lasted for three hours.

This darkness “may” have been a solar eclipse, but I doubt that. It may have been much more than a natural phenomenon.

I conducted a bible search on darkness and was amazed at the results.

Darkness is not just an absence of light.
The creation account in Genesis chapter one reveals that the earth was a mess, having turned into a chaotic desolate wasteland as the word became (Haya) is used to describe its state. Other words like Tohu (meaning confusion, empty and waste), Bohu (meaning void, emptiness and waste) and Hoshek (meaning destruction, death, misery and sorrow) are used.

When God issues a command “Light be”, the dark was separated from light.

It was not the difference between natural light as in daytime and the darkness of night as the light of the sun, the moon and stars came into existence from verse fourteen onwards. 
The three hours must mean something.

In Genesis 1:13, the earth rose up out of the water, symbolic of the resurrection life of Christ.

We may think of the cross in a sad or somewhat negative way and to a certain extent that is true, but it is really a glorious event. Good Friday was the means to an end.

Resurrection day is what really matters most.

The bible often gives precise information concerning names and places, times and seasons and it has to have significance.
If we look at Genesis again, in verses eleven and twelve, God started to bring forth the kind of life that sustains all living beings.

Perhaps those three hours, symbolically at least, represented the end of the old in which man lived in darkness and Jesus who is the light of the world was able to usher in eternal light and life.

It may not have been because the Father had to turn His back on Jesus at all. God knew at the dawn of time that this had to happen. After the incident in the garden, God declared what had to happen and from that moment on, revealed through the prophets, the Tabernacle and the Jewish Feasts of the Lord that such things needed to happen. 

The number three represents Divine perfection and Divine fullness.
It is everything that is complete and entire, fullness or the conclusion of something.

The number three relates to the Godhead.

It reveals the attributes of God. It refers to past, present and future.

In Genesis 18:2, three persons visited Abraham and he brought three measures of meal to them.

Moses told the king in Exodus 5:3 to let God’s people go so that they could go a three day’s journey to sacrifice.

In Numbers 12;23, the spies came back from the Promised land with three things—grapes, figs and pomegranates.

In Matthew 13:33, Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God, saying that a woman took three measures of meal.

In Leviticus 23, God outlined the three important feasts of the Lord to Moses—feasts that mean much to Christians by way of typology form.

The Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and the Temple consisted of three parts—the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place or Sanctuary.

The Temple had three chambers.

The Brazen Sea or Laver held three thousand baths and was compassed by a line of thirty cubits on which were 300 knops and was supported by twelve oxen, three looked north, three looked west, three looked south, and three looked east. This cannot be anything other than Divine design.

The number three is a number of Resurrection, for it was on the third day that Jesus rose again from the dead.
Jesus referred to Jonah in Matthew 12:39–40 and Luke 11:29.

Jonah was in that fish for three days (Jonah 1:17).

Jesus said in Luke 13:32 that He would be “perfected” on the third day.

He was crucified at the third hour.

That darkness prevailed for three hours and on the ninth hour, Jesus surrendered his life as our Kohan Gadol—our great high priest crying:

And at the ninth hour יהושׁע cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Ěli, Ěli, lamah sheḇaqtani?” which is translated, “My Ěl, My Ěl, why have You forsaken Me. Mark 15:34.

Yes, it does seem that the Father turned His back on the Lord at that moment, but please remember that Jesus had to yet present His own blood on the Mercy Seat inside the Holiest place of all and He was also a man. As a priest, He had to first do what the priests had to do and that was to follow protocol, before they could enter into that place.

When He knew He had fulfilled this part of making sacrifice, He cried out in triumph teleō It is finshed.

What many people think was a sad day, or a dark day, was sad and dark indeed, but may I say that it is from our human perspective.

From God’s viewpoint, it was a triumph.

Everything that could possibly separate us from God has been eradicated and we are now reconciled, adopted as Sons and Daughters of the King. It is not a Jewish Passover, but because Jesus is our Passover, I wish you Chag, Pesach Sameach.


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