The Ninth Hour
Matthew 27:45-46, 50 (ESV)
“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.”
Every word that Jesus spoke was a fulfillment of God’s plan for mankind designed before He spoke, “Let us make man in our image.” The entire Old Testament was given to reveal that plan. From the first five books of the Bible written by Moses called the Pentateuch, God gave us a picture, a shadow of what was to come.
God used men to prophesy the coming of the One who would bring to completion His perfect plan. All of scripture given to God’s chosen people, Israel, was designed to lead to the words spoken by Jesus at the ninth hour on the cross.
God’s plan for His special creation began with a choice made by Adam and Eve. They chose to be like God, which resulted in death. That death sentence was not only physical, but also included man’s eternal spirit. All of us were born with a spirit separated from God and without God we cannot have life as He intended.
God’s plan contained the solution to change the consequence of man’s choice of their own free will. Only God could provide the remedy and it involved God the Son coming to earth, born of a virgin, born in a manger. Born without sin, perfect God, perfect man. Jesus came for the sole purpose of “becoming sin who knew no sin” to pay the death penalty for all of us.
The very words of Jesus spoken about the ninth hour was a fulfillment of prophecy given to Daniel. God sent Gabriel to Daniel who was praying for the sins of his people at about the ninth hour to tell him that exactly 490 years from that day God would “put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness.” Daniel 9:24.
Jesus cried out to His Father addressing Him “my God, my God” in submission to His will. Forsaken because Jesus bore the sin of mankind. God the judge executed judgement deserved by all of us upon His own innocent Son. Jesus died so that we can live.
John 19:30 records the last words of Jesus not given in the other Gospels. “It is finished.” God’s plan was completed. Sin and its penalty was dealt with, man can now be redeemed back to God, his spirit made alive. Believing and receiving by faith the finished work of Christ is God’s only way to eternal life.
This week, as we are reminded of the Easter season, take time to praise God for what His love provided for all of us. Jesus chose death so that we could live with Him in heaven.