This darkness tells us all that the Passion is a great mystery into which we cannot pry. I try to explain it as substitution and I feel that where the language of Scripture is explicit, I may and must be explicit, too. But yet I feel that the idea of substitution does not cover the whole of the matter and that no human conception can completely grasp the whole of the dread mystery. It was worked in darkness because the full, far-reaching meaning and result cannot be beheld of finite mind.
Tell me the death of the Lord Jesus was a grand example of self-sacrifice—I can see that and much more. Tell me it was a wondrous obedience to the will of God—I can see that and much more. Tell me it was the bearing of what ought to have been borne by myriads of sinners of the human race, as the chastisement of their sin—I can see that and found my best hope upon it. But do not tell me that this is all that is in the Cross!
No, great as this would be, there is much more in our Redeemer’s death. God only knows the love of God—Christ only knows all that He accomplished when He bowed His head and gave up the ghost. There are common mysteries of Nature into which it were irreverence to pry, but this is a Divine mystery before which we take our shoes off, for the place called Calvary is holy ground!
God veiled the Cross in darkness—and in darkness much of its deeper meaning lies—not because God would not reveal it, but because we have not capacity enough to discern it all! God was manifest in the flesh and in that human flesh He put away sin by His own Sacrifice—this we all know. But “without controversy great is the mystery of godliness.”