The Solar Eclipse and the Gospel

August 21, 2017 | Tags: ,

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”

Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and offered him a drink. But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

But Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit.

-Matthew 27:45-50 (emphasis added)

There are a lot of voices out there speaking about today’s solar eclipse that will cross the United States. In listening to some of them, I found myself growing anxious in my spirit. I know that the Holy Spirit does not give a spirit of anxiety or worry, but of peace. So I went back to the only source of truth that speaks to us today–Jesus, the Word of God, through the Bible–and asked God to reveal the truth of the matter. And this is what God spoke to me through His Word.

When I learned that the solar eclipse lasts about three hours from beginning to end, I recalled the darkness that came over the land while Jesus was on the cross. The Holy Spirit directed me to Matthew 27:45-50, which I’ve copied above. As I read through the Scripture, I thought about the people who witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion. This man was crucified like many others during that time in the Roman empire. But something was different. While he was on the cross, darkness came over the whole land, in the middle of the day! Could there be something more to this man than their eyes were witnessing? Could he truly be the Son of Man–the Messiah?

God’s creation is truly remarkable, and he speaks through his creation. As Scripture tells us:

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour out speech;
night after night they communicate knowledge.
There is no speech; there are no words;
their voice is not heard.
Their message has gone out to the whole earth,
and their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4a).

While the heavens proclaim the Creator, the Son proclaims salvation. We live in a period of time theologians call “The Age of Grace.” It is the time when God’s message of salvation is for all who would believe and put their trust in his Son. Jesus, the perfect man who never sinned, who is God, went to the cross, and died for your sins and mine. He then rose from the dead three days later to proclaim he is the Victor over sin and death. He promises salvation for all who would believe and put their trust in him, and not to try to save themselves (an impossible task anyway). This is the message of the gospel, or good news. And it’s for everyone all over the world today.

So when I look at the eclipse today on the Outer Banks in North Carolina, it is my prayer that I praise God for sending his Son Jesus to the cross for me. He sacrificed himself for my sins and gave me his righteousness–righteousness I did not deserve. And he did all this because he loves me. He loves me more than saving his own life. The darkness fell because the Son of Man died. But he died so that I might live.

He died that you might live too, dear friend. It is my prayer that the viewing of the eclipse brings to mind the saving message of Jesus. And it is my prayer that you put your life into the hands of the one who can save it. If you have done this, please share this message with those who need to hear it too. May the gospel be proclaimed to the glory of God.

By Courtney Silberman

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