8.12.2010

Interesting Conversation

Two nights a month I head into a local women's shelter and offer devotions. Technically they call it "chapel" in the evenings because it's an hour long. Devotions are in the mornings and they're only a half hour.

The first few months I did it, I had no idea what I was going to do for an entire hour. How could I possibly find things of interest to talk about for 60 whole minutes? These women don't really participate unless you force them. Most of the time they just sit in their chairs, politely nod and murmur the occasional "uh huh."

In order to preserve my sanity, I added music several months ago and that's helped. The hello's chit chat, two songs and opening in prayer usually take care of the first 15 to 20 minutes or so. Questions take about 5 minutes at the end. What that means is 35 to 40 minutes I speak.

It can be nerve-wracking to think of subjects to speak about for that long, let me tell you. For almost two years I went through the women of the Bible. I have to rabbit trail a bit here... there are some incredible and amazing women noted in the Bible. If you have never done a study of them, it's a good idea to dive into them a bit. If you have a daughter (or daughters) - do it with them.
Back on track with my story...

I'd decided to move on to "The Six Miracles of Calvary" by William R. Nicholson. It is a very thorough examination of the six miracles that took place around the cross. It covers the 3 hours of darkness, the splitting of the curtain, the earthquake/rocks splitting, the empty tomb and the raising of the saints.

This month was only about the darkness (lasting from noon until 3PM) and what it could have been. It is all speculation as the Scriptures do not provide anything in the way of what happened during those three hours. It only offers that darkness covered the land... (Luke 23:44 and Matthew 27:45).

What happened during those three hours? The book offers the theory that it was during those three hours that Jesus suffered the most. In that time, God heaped His wrath upon the beaten, bleeding, sweating, thorn-cut, tired, spit upon Jesus. That suffering was so great, so traumatic, that God shrouded it in darkness so we would not see it. We could not bear it.

For the first time in all that is and was and will be God, darkness overcame the light but this was not the darkness of satan and his minions. This was darkness God sent - the sun simply "went dark."

What was interesting to me was the woman who came up to me after chapel and first of all thanked me for talking about those three hours. No one does, she says. No one touches on what Jesus went through during those three hours. She then launched into what she believes happened during that time period. She believes it was during that time that satan was given one last opportunity to attack Christ. That he would have bombarded Christ with sin after sin after sin, hoping that Jesus would give in... and give up. What caught my attention, though, was her adamant belief that one of the things satan would have thrown at Him was being demon possessed.

In order to save us, He had to understand us and in order to understand us He would have had to be completely surrounded and covered in human sin. It couldn't just be something He saw from afar - He had to experience it.

She wasn't too happy when I told her that while I agree that it is plausible that satan went after Christ while He was on the cross, since the Bible does not specifically speak to what happened during those hours, I did not agree that at any time was He demon possessed. Jesus was completely and utterly without sin so I could not see how or agree that He would allow a demon access to Him in that way.

Aaron rejected it further than that. He doesn't believe satan would have been given the time of day once Jesus was on that cross. His attack time was over. That's what the desert was for, that's what all the time leading up to the cross was for, that's what Gethsemane was for. Not the cross, though. Once Jesus was on the cross, Aaron believes then it was all God - pouring out His wrath on Jesus and accepting the sacrifice Christ offered. There was no room for satan at that point. And to take it further, Jesus would never allow a demon to possess Him. That would give that demon power over God and..well... that isn't going to happen. Ever. To give a demon that power would have meant not trusting God fully. That would have been sin. Jesus was completely without sin.

I wish I could have been as clear as Aaron when I was expressing myself to this woman.

However... I don't type all of this to talk about how clear we were or weren't in expressing our point. Although, I truly hope something cracks her certainty that Jesus spent some time demon possessed while on that cross... I type all of this to point out just how easy it is to actually take something from the Word and... run with it. Apply our own imagination and logic to it and turn it into something that isn't the truth.

The Bible simply states that darkness covered the whole land for 3 hours. In the middle of the day. It tells us nothing more than that and so we have to draw our information from other verses and come to our conclusions. For some, satan still manages to wiggle his way into the picture, attempting to distort the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

So... I ask you... what do you think? Has anyone ever had their pastor speak to this before? Studied it somewhere? I am really interested to hear opinions...

1 comment:

HeathahLee said...

While I do believe Jesus paid (OH, how MUCH He paid!) for the sins of every single human on the face of the earth then and now, AND that God darkened the sky and turned His back on Jesus for those horrible hours (why else would Jesus have cried out "Why have You forsaken Me?"), I CANNOT believe he was in any way, form, or fashion demon possessed. That would have made Him less than God, and He WAS completely God.

Her statement that Jesus needed to understand human sin completely is true. However, He NEVER sinned. He understood sin's effect on Him by suffering there on the cross.

I feel for that woman, because if she believes that Jesus could have been possessed means that He is not all-powerful, and that gives way to doubting his ability to save us. Satan is going to use that in her life one day to make her doubt.

How thankful I am that He did what He did, and that He IS God!