Luke 23:44 “…the sixth hour…darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour”
Sixth hour of daylight approximately, starting at 6:00 am. So this would be 12:00 noon until 3:00 pm. Other gospel accounts tell us He was crucified at the third hour or 9:00 am. Was on the cross for six hours total. Some have claimed this darkness was an eclipse. I don’t know of eclipses lasting for three hours unless they’re speculating the darkness varied as the sun was covered and uncovered. I believe this was a supernatural occurrence which caused it to be dark for that time.
45 “…the veil of the temple was torn in two”
Matthew further records it was torn from top to bottom. Very significant. The veil was the separation between the Holy of Holies, where God was, and the rest of the world. To have the veil removed was to open the world to the presence of God Himself. The fact that it was torn from top to bottom shows it wasn’t done by a man. The veil was actually a very thick, very tall curtain. Only God could have torn it from the top. When Jesus died, He destroyed the separation between God and man. Because of His sacrifice, we can now come boldly before the throne of grace to God Himself. There is nothing and no one separating us from God anymore.
46 “…into Your hands I commit My spirit…”
Jesus was using Psalm 31:5 as His statement of action. I used to think He was just saying it before He died, but I’ve come to realize it was an action statement. He wasn’t just being killed, He was choosing to die. As the perfect Son of God, He couldn’t die unless He chose to. He had no sin to warrant death. He had to choose to release His Spirit from His body. He had taken on the world’s sin, paid the price of redemption, and was now choosing to release it all with His death. Had He been a normal man, death could have kept Him in Hades, the place of the dead. But He was God, so death had no power over Him. He waited until the third day then rose again to live forevermore. Because He has done this, the power of death is broken for all of us. If we accept His gift of salvation, we go to be with Him when we die. And one day He’ll redeem our bodies to never die again. What a day that will be!
47 “…when the centurion saw…”
He had probably seen many crucifixions. This one was different. Sad that a heathen could see the glory of God while the religious could not. Hopefully this led him to seek after Christ. No record of it, but you never know.
51 “He had not consented to their decision…”
So there were those among the council who did not agree with those who wanted Jesus killed. It’s easy to paint everyone in a group with a wide brush. But we must remember God is a personal God. He always has His remnants, those who follow Him no matter where they find themselves. Good lesson for us when we encounter other Christians who belong to denominations that have stated doctrine different from ours. Whether they have some details right or wrong, if they believe in Jesus and accept His gift of salvation, they belong to Him and are our brothers and sisters in Him.
53 “…where no one had ever lain before”
A new tomb. No other bodies in there. Once Christ arose, the tomb was completely empty, showing the resurrection.
54-56 “…the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near…women…observed the tomb and how His body was laid…they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils…rested on the Sabbath…”
He was crucified on Friday of the Passover. The day after would have been a regular Sabbath as well as a Sabbath celebrated by connection to the Passover, which is the reason Luke calls Friday the Preparation. He died at approximately three in the afternoon. They needed to get his body down and in the tomb by six, I’m estimating, as the Sabbath began at sundown. So three hours to get Him prepared and in the tomb. There was also apparently time for the women to go buy more spices and oils after they saw where He was laid and get home before sundown. Since we know the tomb was nearby, this would be very easily accomplished. They rested on the Sabbath then returned to the tomb very early on the third day, Sunday.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.