Man in the Moon 4 - The Cross and the Moon
When Christ died on the cross, He took all the sins of the world on Himself, shedding His precious blood that we could become the bride of Christ, children of GOD and subsequently, co-heirs with Christ. I want to show you something very interesting I discovered about the sun and moon during the crucifixion. Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation, when thousands of lambs were slaughtered to celebrate the Passover. Exodus 12:6 tells us concerning the Passover; “6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.” (NKJV) Christ as the ultimate Pascal Lamb, had to be crucified at twilight. That got my curiosity piqued, Luke 23:44-46 tells me it was not even close to that time of day; “44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. (NASB 95) God preordained the sky to be darkened at Noon that day to fulfill the Scriptures with reference to the time the Pascal lamb is to be slaughtered.
Merriam Webster’s defines twilight as the light from the sky between full night and sunrise or between sunset and full night produced by diffusion of sunlight through the atmosphere and its dust. I have used NASB 95 for the Luke passage because it is a little clearer why the sky was dark; the Greek word for obscured is “ekleipto,” where we get the word eclipse. A total eclipse blocks out the sun and all you can see is a pitch-black moon ringed by a halo of diffused light, creating perfect twilight. The Scribes and Pharisees would have known an eclipse was forthcoming, providing perfect twilight on that very day to slaughter the True Pascal Lamb and herald the Passover, yet Isaiah 53:2-4 tells us God hid it from their vision. “…He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face he was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (NASB95)
Joel’s prophesy, (Joel 2:28-32), of redemption foretells the eclipse of the sun and Christ’s blood covering all who will call on His Name. The sight of our LORD and Savior bearing the sins of the world on the cross is a fulfillment of that prophetic word. Picture Christ on the cross and directly over His head a solar eclipse as you read: “28And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. 30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 32 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.” (NKJV) Paul adds to this depiction in Philippians 2:15
, making a connection with the redeemed ‘children of God’ to the stars in the heavens. “15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (NKJV) The imagery the LORD creates by timing an eclipse of the sun with the crucifixion of His Christ portents the ‘new beginning’ of the Salvation of the LORD, namely salvation in and through Christ. No longer is the temporary offering of a yearling made annually to stave off the inevitable impending punishment of sin; mankind’s entire sin burden was once and for all placed upon the Lamb of God, God’s only Son. Evermore our darkness has been imputed to Him and His Righteousness imparted to us.
Just as the moon was hidden yet right in plain sight, so was God’s plan of Salvation through Christ. Jesus used this ‘hidden in plain sight’ allusion after His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, after the cries of ”Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD” and “Hosanna” had long faded away. Jesus laments over the blindness of the eyes and hardness of heart when the very salvation Jerusalem was looking for was right in front of their face, yet they could not see it, Luke 19:41-42,44 “41When Jesus came closer and could see Jerusalem, he cried 42and said: It is too bad that today your people don’t know what will bring them peace! Now it is hidden from them. 44They will level you to the ground and kill your people. Not one stone in your buildings will be left on top of another. This will happen because you did not see that God had come to save you.” (CEV) Earlier in the same Gospel, Jesus while rejoicing over the return of the seventy He sent in Luke 10:21 first declares the message that salvation is hidden, 21At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.” (NASB95)