Jesus Christ, the Ultimate Sacrifice: The Time Revealed

“It’s time to go!”

“My meeting is at that time.”

“It’s time to eat!”

“What time is it?”

Time: It’s what we measure our days by. In ancient days, people took that literally; the light of the day was how they measured and “told time.” Have you ever noticed, in different Scriptures, time was referred to as “the third hour, the seventh hour,” etc., and wondered, “What time is that?” Wonder no more! Their days were measured by the sunrise (6 a.m., with the first hour being 6-7 a.m.). The time the sun rose obviously changed, depending on the time of the year, but this gives us an idea of relatively what time it was in “our time.” Let’s look at some times we see in the texts about the crucifixion of Christ.

  • Third hour = 8-9 a.m.
  • Sixth hour = 11 a.m.-12 p.m. (noon)
  • Ninth hour = 2-3 p.m.

These three, specific times were referred to in both the Old and New Testaments as “hours of prayer” and would be accompanied by whole burnt offerings and sacrifices (Isaiah 56:7). These whole burnt offerings would restore their communion and intimacy with the LORD, publicly approaching God and sharing with Him through prayer. Daniel, in the Old Testament, didn’t just pray before meals. When he prayed three times a day, he was observing these special hours of prayer. Since the Jews were in exile, they would face Jerusalem (the land the LORD gave their ancestors/the city the LORD chose for His temple to be built) at these times and pray to the LORD, admitting their sin, repenting, and begging for His favor and grace (1 Kings 8:46-48). It was a time to return to Him with all their heart…and with all their soul.

Photo by 13on on Unsplash

Here’s where we see these time frames:

“Now it was the third hour when they crucified Him.”

Mark 15:25 NASB

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”

Mark 15:33 ERV

* You can read more about this in the last post, “Into Your Hands”…Christ’s Purpose Fulfilled.” *

“And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?’—which is translated, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?’”

Mark 15:34 AB

Then [at the ninth hour], Jesus cried out in a loud voice and died.”

Mark 15:37 GWT (see Luke 23:46 for what He cried out)

“Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Father! In Your hands I place My spirit!’ He said this and died.”

Luke 23:46 GNT

I have written so many times about the LORD being so purposeful, but I never stop getting excited about it!!! These times of offering whole burnt offerings, sacrifices, and prayer ultimately were fulfilled and revealed even in the time of the day in which Christ, the ultimate sacrifice and whole burnt offering, approached God and died for us! Praise Him!

I hope this takes your mind somewhere different, when you look at a clock. Maybe you’ll decide to set aside time within those hours to interact with God (this may include confessing sin and repenting). Because of Christ, we’re able to approach the Throne at any time; these specific hours of prayer aren’t required. They just can be good reminders to faithfully present ourselves to the LORD as living sacrifices.

“So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us, I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him. This is the true worship that you should offer.”

Romans 12:1 GNT

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