We are now moving onto the next 3 hours of Yeshua’s time on the Tav. It was during the 6th to the 9th hours when He spoke no words. This was the time when He took on the sins of the world and became sin for us. During those 3 hours, we see such great symbolism which brings us back to the history of redemption, then leading us to the end times.
In Mark 15:33 we are told that it was at the 6th hour when darkness fell over the whole world. But what is the message and the significance of this sudden darkness? What did it mean to the people then? This darkness brings us from the first Passover and then to its final fulfillment. The crucifixion took place on the Passover, surely reminding the people of this feast which was a prelude to the time of their redemption from slavery.
The 9th plague in the Exodus account was about 3 days of darkness over all the land of Egypt. After this came the 10th plague when the firstborn of every family whose home was not protected by the blood, would die. This is when the LORD said Exd.12:13, And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. After this, the journey toward the promised land would begin. The same scenario happened on this day on the Passover when Yeshua died.
After Yeshua was placed on the Tav at noon, there was darkness over the whole land for 3 hours, corresponding to the 3 days of darkness in Egypt. There, Yeshua, God’s firstborn, was taking on Himself all the sins of the world. In the same way then, as Israel and others applied the blood of the lamb as a sign of protection, today, whoever puts their faith in Yeshua will also experience freedom from slavery of sin and receive the eternal gift of salvation.
This then begins the journey into the promised eternal home in heaven. This is where the events of the 6th– 9th hours lead us. And the message becomes even clearer when we remember that, in the first century, at the 6th hour on the 14th day of Nisan, the Jewish people were instructed to take all the leaven from their homes and bring it outside the city in order to burn it. Leaven of course, is the symbol of sin, and they were to remove it from their homes during the 7 day period of Unleavened Bread.
And right there, as the people were ready to burn their leaven outside the city, Yeshua took the leaven, once and for all. One can just imagine the peoples’ reactions during those 3 long hours of darkness while carrying their bag of leaven and heading outside the city. What were they saying? What were they thinking in all this darkness?
Surely the Spirit of the LORD was seeking open hearts so He could lead them to understand the importance of this day. But that was just the beginning.
As for the darkness itself, they understood, as the Scriptures teach, that it indicates a time of judgment. We read this in the Talmud and by later commentators such as Abarbanel, Rashi, and Malbim. For there were so many prophecies concerning the end times and its connection with darkness over the whole world during the Day of the Lord, during the Day of Tribulation. Among these prophecies, there is a specific one related to this special day of Passover when Yeshua was on the tav. It is found in the Book of Amos 8: 9-10. Beginning in vs.9 we read, “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord God, “That I will make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight.”
And this is what happened on the 14th of Nisan when Yeshua was crucified. It was at noon, when the sun was at its highest point, right in broad daylight when darkness fell on the world. See now, how Amos completes the story of Passover in vs.10, And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son (Yachid), and the end of it will be like a bitter day. And see how the Lord through Amos, associated the darkness with a mourning like that of an only Son. This makes a great connection to Yeshua (the Son) and the Father who surely was also suffering at this very moment. This only Son, Yachid, is the one who the nation of Israel will recognize at the very end of the Tribulation when Yeshua will come back to stop this great wave of antisemitism that we see rising today. And so we read from Zech 12:10b
… they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only Son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.
Here we have both of Yeshua’s titles; we have the only Son & Firstborn fulfilling the Passover and while He was recognized by just a few, at His Second Coming, the remnant of Israel will nationally recognize Him as the Only son and Firstborn and Savior. One does not have to wait for this moment, but everyone has this great opportunity to celebrate the true Passover, by accepting Him as their personal Savior even today.
Let us begin to look at this powerful saying from the Tav, which closes the 3 hours of darkness and when, perhaps, the sun’s light returned. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34. Many are so disturbed by this saying. We may read it as if Yeshua was surprised by the power of evil and therefore sought help from God.
But see that this saying was pronounced after the darkness, after He took on all the sins of the world. It is very possible that it represents the last moment when He took the brunt of all evil and felt that separation from the Father; there is truth in there. But when one considers the context of Psalm 22 from where Yeshua took these words, it brings us to consider another reason. We must not overlook the words from John 10:17–18 when He said, …I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative…
So, these words, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” may represent His final cry of victory and completion of His works as He was answering Israel’s plea for help. These words will turn out to be one Israel needs to hear today.