ESV - 33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
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In my opinion, this darkness occurred because, when Jesus was on the cross, He was bearing God's full punishment for the cumulative sin of all of humanity. (As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For our sake, He [that is, God the Father] made Him [that is, Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin.") The darkness symbolized that God the Father could not look upon the sin that God the Son was bearing. (As Habakkuk 1:13 in the Old Testament said, God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wrong.") It was also for this same reason that Jesus (quoting from Psalm 22, which was a prophecy of the crucifixion) said from the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" This did not imply (as some cults maintain) that Jesus was not God, but was expressing the manner in which God the Father had turned His face away from Jesus while Jesus was on the cross. (Also, if God had permanently forsaken Jesus, or if Jesus were not the divine Son of God, He would not have been able to subsequently say just before He died, "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.")
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