Mark 15:33, 34 NKJV Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
This week in my own personal devotional time I have been reflecting on the question, “What if Jesus had not died for us?”. I believe I can see through these two short verses of scripture how life would be without knowing Jesus as my own personal Savior and Lord.
The scripture says that when it came close to the time for Jesus to die from the crucifixion He was experiencing that there was darkness over the whole land. The word “darkness” in the Greek is skotos and is defined in it’s simplest definition as in a physical sense “darkness of night” and spiritually “the absence of moral or spiritual values” and is best defined as being under “the powers of darkness”.
Jesus is described as the “light of men” in John 1:4. The scripture records that “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”.
John 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
So, we see from scriptural records that Jesus is the “light” and when He was crucified the “light” was removed from the world and “darkness” covered the whole earth. Darkness came upon the whole world because God turned His back on the “light”, His very own Son, because of the sin that He had placed on Him to pay the price for man’s redemption. Darkness, or sin, and Light, or righteousness, cannot co-exist. In the darkness that came over Jesus and the world around Him we see a picture of what life is like without Jesus. The darkness in the last days before Jesus’ return is said in Isaiah to be “deep darkness” that will cover the earth and the people. (Isaiah 60:2)
A life separated from God mean darkness, or the absence of light, ignorance of and the absence of spiritual values; immorality, ungodliness; people who are under the powers of darkness and the end result, misery in hell. Yes, Jesus descended into hell, the home of the “powers of darkness, as well as experiencing the darkness of being separated from His heavenly Father. It is said in Ephesians 4:8, 9 that He descended into the lower parts of the earth and when He ascended, or was risen from the dead, that He led captivity captive. He conquered death, hell and the grave for you and me! If Jesus had not died for us we would be doomed to a life eternally separated from God, living under the “powers of darkness”.
Looking further into this definition of those who live life without Jesus, let’s look at what Ephesians has to say about it.
Ephesians 2:12 AMP [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.
When Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”, it was because He was experiencing what a person without God in his life experiences. That separation from God is like a heavy darkness upon a person’s life. There is no hope because God is the God of all hope and when God is not in your life, you live as best you can with what you have to work with, no hope, no promise of life being any better, no rights to all that Jesus died to give you, just in the world without God, floundering around grasping at whatever the world has to offer. A picture of darkness, morally and spiritually.
God’s word says that God has put eternity in the hearts of the sons of men (Ecc. 3:11) and we know from what Jesus said in John 3:3-8 that there is a physical birth for man, which is referred to as being born of water, but also that there needs to be a spiritual birth in order to enter into the kingdom of God. He described it to Nicodemus as being “born of the Spirit”. When one is “born of the Spirit” the darkness that had covered their lives is removed and the “light” comes to live within their heart. This is what God said about those who are “born again” being delivered from the “power of darkness” in Colossians 1:13-14:
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
Jesus’ death on that cross purchased our “redemption”, or bought us back from the “power of darkness” and set us in the “light” of His Son! He traded places with us on that cross and became sin, represented by the “darkness” that came over Him, in order for us to be able to be transferred from darkness to light through the experience of being re-born, or spiritually awakened. II Corinthians 5:21 says that God made “Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
If Jesus had not died for us on that cross, we would have been forever doomed to life under the “power of darkness”. There would have been no hope for us to ever live a life in God’s presence, in the Light, but forever doomed to being separated from Him, living in spiritual and moral depravity. Life without God, forever and ever and ever, never ending!
In John’s description of Jesus he says that He is the “true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world”. John goes on to say this about man’s relationship to Jesus:
John 1:11-13 NKJV He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Some have still not received Jesus today. Sadly, for them the Word says they will spend eternity in “outer darkness”, in a furnace of fire, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 13:40-42).
Dearly Beloved, this is not a picture of what I would like to experience or what I want to see happen to anyone else. This experience of being “re-born” requires a choice to be made on this side of eternity. Romans 10:13 says that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. Have you called on the name of the Lord to save you?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Eternal life in Christ Jesus is what God wants for you and for me; that we might experience life in His presence for eternity, rather than life in outer darkness, separated from Him for eternity. Two places to choose from; one in darkness, one in the light of Christ Jesus. Which will you choose?
Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your hear” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Do you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, who died for your sins, was buried and rose again, triumphant over death, hell and the grave to give you eternal life? Have you confessed Him as your own “personal” Lord and Savior? These are the two questions that God requires to be settled in your life before crossing over through death into eternity. You can’t ride into eternity on someone else’s salvation experience; it must be your own. Church attendance won’t purchase it; good works can not buy it; only acceptance of Jesus will secure your place in His presence for eternity. Religious works are public, but a relationship with Jesus is personal.
If you have not made this decision to receive Jesus before you die, your ultimate resting place for all eternity will be in “outer darkness”, separated from God forever and ever. Will you make the decision today that will give you eternal life in the presence of God for all eternity? If so, please pray this prayer with me to secure your place in Christ Jesus.
Father, I come before You recognizing that I am a sinner, separated from You because of my sin. I realize that I need to accept Jesus as the sacrifice, or payment for my sin. So, right now I believe that He is the Son of God and that He was crucified for my redemption; He was buried and conquered hell in my place and was risen to new life that I might experience all that He died to give me. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive me for my sin, to come into my heart, into my life and fill me with Your new life today. I confess Jesus Christ as my own personal Lord and Savior and I thank You for saving me. From this day forward I will live my life walking the in light of Jesus Christ to be forever in His presence throughout eternity. Thank You for loving me and for dying for me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.