Three O’Clock in the Afternoon

At three o’clock in the afternoon, on this day which we call Good Friday, amid a darkness that enveloped the land, Christ was crucified and died (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23).  At that time:

Christ cried out in prayer to God his Father.

A centurion declared that this man was a righteous man, the very Son of God.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Rocks were split, tombs were opened, and many saints were raised (egeirō) to life.

Some time later, on another day, and at another three o’clock in the afternoon (Acts 3):

Peter and John were at the temple.

They were there at the time of prayer.

They healed a lame man, and raised (egeirō) him to his feet.

They healed this man in the name of Christ, the one who had been crucified.

Some time later, on another day, and at another three o’clock in the afternoon (Acts 10):

A centurion, who prayed to God regularly, had a vision of God, one which ultimately led to his conversion.

The centurion’s prayers rose up to God as a memorial offering, an offering which was not made in the temple, but in a Gentile home.

When Peter came to Cornelius’s home, Cornelius fell down at his feet in reverence, but Peter raised (egeirō) him to his feet.

And then, Peter delivered a message to Cornelius and his household about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The last two “three o’clocks in the afternoon” only occurred because the first one did.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Jerry Shepherd
Good Friday
March 25, 2016

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