“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.”
I have usually used the language of the Father turning His face away,” to describe the cross. That, however, in the light of the revelation of God in the Old and New Testaments, and in the light of Jesus own revelation of God, is only half true. The Father’s face was turned away in terms of comfort, but it was also turned towards Jesus in judgement, a judgement so full that in Gethsemane, Jesus, the Holy One, shrank from becoming sin for us and bearing it. While we are tempted because of our sinfulness, it was Jesus holiness that made him recoil from embracing the cross. That hour was fast approaching. It was the hour of the cup of God’s simmering wrath at human sin boiling over in righteous judgement for love of sinners: Judgement Day breaking into time and history. “Lest I forget Gethsemane, lest I forget thine agony, lest I forget thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.” Only Jesus understands that calling on the mountains and rocks to fall on us is preferable than facing the Day of Judgement without a Saviour. For anyone else to say it, it would just be words.
It was no light thing for the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. I want my response to reflect that more and more. I don’t follow the Christian year with any great diligence but I am glad for Holy Week.
My wonder at what Jesus suffered for me has never left me since the day I heard at SU camp that, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone of us to our own way, but the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all…He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities…it was the will of the Lord to crush him.”