“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, La’-ma sa bach’-thani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” - (Mt.27:45,46).
When the Son of God died on the cross for the sins of the world, His Father darkened the sun of man and turned the noonday sun into darkness and the daylight into night. The whole world was plunged into total darkness while the Lord Jesus, the Light of the world, was dying. God made the day as dark as death. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” - (Jn.8:12). “In him was life: and the life was the light of men. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” - (Jn.1:4,9).
Jesus told us why people won’t get saved - “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” - (I Jn.3:19,20). People that get saved have the light of the Holy Spirit in them and they become lights for Christ in the world, they bear witness of the Light. “Ye are the light of the world... Let your light so shine before men...” - (Mat.5:14,16). We are “to open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins...” - (Acts 26:18). We are God’s candlesticks in a dark world of sin.
In order to save us from the utter darkness of hell, Christ suffered through three hours of darkness. Never was there such a dark and awful scene on earth since God created the earth and said - “... Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called night” - (Gen.1:3-5). The cross was the crisis of man’s redemption and salvation, and God’s wrath upon sin. It was the darkest event in human history.
Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in.
When Christ, the mighty maker, died
For man the creature’s sin.
Death and darkness go together, and life and light go together. That’s why we wear black at funerals. Jesus came as a great Light in a world of death and night. “The people which sat in darkness saw great light: and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up” - (Mt.4:16). Hear His words of light and light - “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” - (Jn.11:25). Christ came down to earth to solve man’s greatest problem - death, and the cause of death, which is sin. He offers us eternal life when we repent of our sins and believe in Him in our heart by faith.
During this time on the cross Jesus said - “Eli, Eli, la-ma sa-bach-thani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Man has sinned and forsaken God and so God has forsaken man. “...The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” - (2 Chr.15:2). In (Du.29:31) God lists the curses that will come upon us if we live wicked and forsake the Lord - “... and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them - (Du.31:16,17).
On the cross, the Lord Jesus became sin for us and the curse - “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” - (2 Cor.5:21). “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” - (Gal.3:13). Sin started on a tree in Eden, and Christ made atonement for sin on the tree of Calvary. Christ became sin for us, and so was forsaken of God in our stead.
Elie Wiesel is an American writer and educator, widely recognized as the spokesman for the victims and survivors of the Nazi holocaust. He has a mission to bear witness to what he calls ‘the darkest event in history.’ In recognition of his efforts as ‘a messenger to mankind,’ he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. When he was fifteen, he was deported to concentration camps by the Nazis. His first novel was entitled ‘Night,’ about his experience in the death camps. He asks the question ‘How can the God he once so fervently believed in, have allowed these monstrous events to occur?” Well, he simply doesn't believe God’s Word.
The death of Christ on the cross is the answer. That was the darkest event in human history - when God turned the day into ‘night.’ And his name ‘Elie,’ which means ‘my God’ points right to the darkness of Christ on the cross as He died as the perfect, sinless, sacrifice for sin. Christ is calling out to him, “Elie, Elie, why don’t you receive me as your Savior? God has forsaken you, because you have forsaken Him by your sins, and your rejection of His beloved Son as the atonement for sin. His holiness and justice demands punishments for your sins.”
Holocaust means (whole burnt offering) and Christ was the ‘burnt offering’ on the cross, and if you get saved by Him you won’t have to burn forever in the final holocaust in the lake of fire. Everyone who rejects God’s Son, Jew or Gentile, will suffer there for eternity. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” - (Rev.20:14,15). “My God, my God, why hat thou forsaken me,” is the theme song of the lost in the final holocaust, and it will be ‘night’ there for eternity - (Mt.22:13) - darkness forever.
The sun will be darkened again in the soon coming Great Tribulation which God calls “the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come” - (Joel.2:31). The Antichrist will be much more wicked than Hitler as his reign is worldwide. Instead of putting a number on the left arm of the persecuted like Hitler, he will persecute and kill all the Christians who refuse to get the number of the Beast (666) in their foreheads or right hands and worship him and his image. “...and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” - (Rev.13:5). Hitler’s ‘night’ lasted for seven years (1938-45) and Antichrist’s ‘night’ will last for seven years also. This will be a time of great darkness upon the whole earth spiritually, as Satan and his power of darkness rules through his Beast. “... The beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness...” - (Rev.16:10). Hitler’s ‘night’ is just a dress rehearsal for Antichrist’s ‘night’ soon to come. Satan is the power behind his throne - “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” - (Eph.6:12).
When Christ said “Eli, Eli” on the cross, He was also referring to Eli the high Priest of Israel, whose wicked sons, who were priests, caused them to lose the battle and the ark of God. His two sons were killed and his daughter-in-law died in child birth, naming the baby ‘Ichabod’ - (the glory is departed from Israel) and Eli died also, and the glory of the Lord departed from Israel. And 37 years after Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, Israel lost their battle against Rome, and many died and the remnant of Israel were disbursed worldwide among the Gentiles until 1948. The Lord Jesus Christ is God's ark of salvation, God's atonement for sin, and so the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel - the Lord had forsaken them.
The Lord Jesus died on the cross as our high priest forever after the order of Melchizadek. He offered up the sacrifice of himself for our sins. “Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others; For then must be often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” - (Heb.9:25,26).
But God did not totally forsake Israel during their disbursement. God’s mercy had still been upon them as God always preserved a remnant of them spiritually by some getting saved by Christ, and He has always saved a remnant physically as well. Otherwise there would be no nation of Israel today. We can see this clearly during WWII when Hitler tried to exterminate all the Jews, yet God saved a remnant like the 1200 saved by Oskar Shindler. God’s mercy endureth forever.
When all the nations come against Israel to exterminate her once again under Antichrist, Christ the Delieverer will come at Armageddon and save a remnant. “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” - (Rev.11:26). Israel shall never more be forsaken by God - “Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken: neither shall the land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called Sought out, A city not forsaken” - (Is.62:4,12).
When Christ shouted out “Eli, Eli,” the people said - “...this man calleth for Elias” - (Mt.27:47). Elijah shall come before the Great Tribulation ‘night’ - “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” - (Mal.4:5). He will be one of the “two witnesses” of (Rev.11) who preach for 1260 days and die in the street of Jerusalem. And God resurrected two people through Eli-jah and Eli-sha pointing to Christ’s resurrection soon to come.
Are you saved and born again with the light of the Holy Spirit in you? Or are you still in the darkness of your sins because you reject Christ because you love darkness rather than light? If you’re not saved, I beseech you to forsake your sins and believe on Christ in your heart by faith, and you will receive forgiveness of sins. You will be saved from the lake of fire, the final holocaust, and receive eternal life. You will become a new creature in Christ, freeborn and no longer in bondage to your sins. You will have a new heart and a new Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit. You will become a new man, and your feet will walk in new holy paths. Jesus said - “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” - (Jn.3:6,7). Be saved and you can claim the promise of God - “...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” - (Heb.13:5). Be saved and born again and ready for the ‘rapture’ before the great and dreadful Tribulation ‘night’ comes upon the whole world.
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76
Tucson, AZ 85705
Would love to hear from you!