￼The Phenomenon of darkness that took place at noon, during the time that Jesus was on the cross; is supported by three Hebrew prophecies, the narrative of the New Testament, and the records of secular and scientific history.
The Hebrew Prophecies:
1. Upon the Crucifixion of the Messiah, the Lord will clothe the earth with darkness.
Isaiah 50:3 “I clothe the heavens with blackness, And I make sackcloth their covering.”
2. The darkness that will cover the earth during the crucifixion of the Messiah will stand as testimony that the last days have begun.
Joel 2:28-32 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.”
3. When the Messiah is crucified, the sun will darken at noon.
Amos 8:9 “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight…”
Part 1: Upon the Crucifixion of the Messiah, the Lord will clothe the earth with darkness.
The Narrative of the New Testament:
Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Luke 23:44-45 Now it was about the sixth hour (noon), and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened…
Jewish timekeeping for a day begins at 6 a.m. as the “first hour.” Therefore, the “sixth hour” would be 12 noon. The testimony of those who were present at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is that it became dark at noon, and it remained dark until the “ninth hour” or 3 p.m.
The fact that the Bible could predict an astronomical event that would occur at a specific date and time, is staggering to comprehend. God not only caused this darkness to occur, He planned it ahead of time. In this case, the Lord predicted the phenomenon of darkness at noon, more than 600 years in advance of its manifestation.
What was this event, from an astronomical or scientific point of origin? Was there an eclipse which occurred from noon till three p.m? Did God simply diminish the sun’s light from reaching the earth during this time? If so, by what means? God often uses naturally occurring events to bring about His will or His plan. We see this in the long day of Joshua where the sun stopped moving for an entire day.
Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. Joshua 10:12-14
In April of 1940, a medical doctor by the name of Immanuel Velikovsky first postulated the idea that some great catastrophic event had taken place in earth’s distant past that had disrupted the earth’s rotation and affected the atmosphere in causing phenomenon never before seen.
Dr. Velikovsky’s theory was developed as a result of the Exodus story of Israel from Egypt, when the ten plagues occurred that are described in the Book of Exodus. Dr. Velikovsky postulated the theory that earth had come into close contact with the planet Venus during the time of the Exodus. The strange events which are described by the Bible that occurred during the Exodus and even fifty years later in the long day of Joshua, were the results of this near contact. The parting of the Red Sea, the Ten plagues, the eruption on Mt. Sinai, even the pillar of fire and cloud, all attributable to this close encounter with Venus. As Dr. Velikovsky widened his search for similarly recorded events in other places around the world at that time, he was stunned to discover that even the Egyptians record, indicates similar astronomical events.
Dr. Velikovsky reconstructed the history of middle eastern cultures using the possibility that a near miss by Venus had orchestrated many events around the earth at the same period of time in history. He titled his first book: “Ages in Chaos.” 
It was not until Velikovsky was reading the Old Testament account of the long day of Joshua that he noticed meteorites occurring before the sun stood still in the sky. As Venus had been drawn close to the earth by its gravitational power, a shower of meteors rained down on the earth, slowing the rotation of the earth from 1,000 miles per hour to near zero, for a period of an entire day. The events which are described in the Exodus from Egypt, happened just fifty years before and were also likely linked to the approach of Venus to earth. Writing his second book, “World’s in Collision,” Dr. Velikovsky documents the occurrence of these events described in the Bible, with astronomical counterparts which took place between Earth and Venus.
Albert Einstein was reportedly very interested in Velikovsky’s theories and when Dr. Einstein died, a copy of “World’s in Collision” was found on his desk. Immanuel Velikovsky died in 1979.
Secular and Scientific History:
There are many extra-biblical sources outside of the Bible that describe a period of darkness over the earth during the time that the gospels detail Jesus’ crucifixion. One early church historian from the third century was Sextus Julias Africanus. In his writing, he describes a chronicle of Thallus who stated that during the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, many people who were present; believed that a “solar eclipse” had occurred.
During the reign of Tiberius Caesar, a second century record from Phlegon of Tralles, describes a complete solar eclipse that happened during the time of the full moon; exactly as the gospels record: “from the sixth to the ninth hour.”
In a commentary by Tertullian in his “Apologeticus,” he writes that there were many who were in attendance at the crucifixion of Jesus who did not know about the prophecies of Amos and Isaiah, predicting that darkness would occur. They believed that the darkness they were experiencing was simply an eclipse. Tertullian wrote that the evidence for this was still available in the archives of Roman history.
This claim by Tertullian is an extraordinary secular confirmation, that the record of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, existed in the records of Rome as early as the first century.
One of the first historians of this period, Rufinus of Aquileia, as a part of the work he completed on Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History; contains a section that describes a defense given to Maximus, by Lucian of Antioch, before his death by martyrdom in 312 A.D. This Roman writer was quite certain that the darkness described by the gospels, that is said to have happened at the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth; was a part of the historical record of the Roman archives.
“Search your writings and you shall find that in Pilates time, when Christ suffered, the sun was suddenly withdrawn and darkness followed”.
This statement, by a Roman historian, not only confirms the New Testament account that darkness occurred at Jesus’ crucifixion but also serves as proof that documents, other than the Bible, exist in the records of antiquity, which describe the crucifixion of a man called “The Christ.”
Christian historian Paulus Orosius (375 – 418) wrote:
“Jesus voluntarily gave himself over to the Passion but through the impiety of the Jews, was apprehended and nailed to the cross, as a very great earthquake took place throughout the world, rocks upon mountains were split, and a great many parts of the largest cities fell by this extraordinary violence. On the same day also, at the sixth hour of the day, the Sun was entirely obscured and a loathsome night suddenly overshadowed the land, as it was said, ‘an impious age feared eternal night.’ Moreover, it was quite clear that neither the Moon nor the clouds stood in the way of the light of the Sun, so that it is reported that on that day the Moon, being fourteen days old, with the entire region of the heavens thrown in between, was farthest from the sight of the Sun, and the stars throughout the entire sky shone, then in the hours of the day or rather in that terrible night. To this, not only the authority of the Holy Gospels attest, but even some books of the Greeks.”
A substantial record from the Greek historian, Phlegon, describes the three hours of darkness over Jerusalem during the time of Tiberius Caesar, when Jesus was crucified:
“This eclipse was visible from Jerusalem at moonrise…. first visible from Jerusalem at about 6:20pm (the start of the Jewish Sabbath and also the start of Passover day in A.D. 33) with about 20% of its disc in the umbra of the earth’s shadow …. The eclipse finished some thirty minutes later at 6:50pm.”
Julius Africanus records that according to Roman historian Thallus, the darkness could not have been caused by a solar eclipse. The feast of Passover is always observed on the 14th day of Nissan, during a full moon. An eclipse can only occur when the moon is new and under the Sun. It is astronomically impossible for a total eclipse of the sun to occur concurrent with a full moon.
Tertullian, an early Christian church defender of the faith, described the darkness surrounding the crucifixion as occurring exactly at the time of day that Jesus was upon the cross.
“In the same hour (as the crucifixion), too, the light of day was withdrawn, when the sun at the very time was in his meridian blaze. Those who were no aware that this had been predicted about Christ, no doubt thought it an eclipse. You yourselves have an account of the world portent still in your archives (Phlegon’s account).”
Part 2. The darkness that will cover the earth during the crucifixion of the Messiah will stand as testimony that the last days have begun.
When the prophet Joel penned his famous prophetic verse in chapter 2, we were all surprised to read in the New Testament that Peter had declared this prophecy was being fulfilled as he spoke.
Joel 2:28-29 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
Peter’s Declaration of Fulfillment
Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. 21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’ ”
Peter not only attributed Joel Chapter 2, verses 28 and 29 to the birth of the church, he also ascribed the rest of Joel’s prophecy to the events that were taking place, in Acts Chapter 2.
Joel 2:30-31 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness And the moon into blood…”
Unlike many of Peter’s declarations that were directed by his flesh, the words that he spoke here, in Acts Chapter 2, were clearly directed by the Holy Spirit, as he made these observations after the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost. Peter was certain that the darkness which covered Jerusalem, at the precise moment that Jesus was being crucified, and the subsequent “blood moon” that occurred that evening; were “signs” that Joel’s prophecy of the last days was fulfilled.
Colin J. Humphreys and W. G. Waddington were able to reconstruct the events that took place during the darkness that occurred while Jesus was being crucified. By their calculations, a “Blood Moon” occurred from about 6:20 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., at the start of the Jewish Passover. This would confirm both parts of Joel’s prophecy, that Peter declared, as being fulfilled the day Jesus was crucified.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness And the moon into blood…”
As the darkness passes and the sins of all people, for all time, are fully paid for by Jesus’ death; the promise of His resurrection will arrive in three days.
On that morning of the third day, when the disciples and Mary arrive at the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, they find that the burial cloth that was wrapped around Jesus is empty, and the Lord’s body is no longer there.
As the day dawns and the resurrection is confirmed, the incredible news of man’s first day of freedom and forgiveness of sins, becomes a reality. Light saturates the earth with God’s glory, as Jesus has triumphed over all darkness. In the death and resurrection of the Messiah, as God had promised; every person—born on the earth, has the opportunity to have all their sins removed and obtain eternal life.
The Biblical Contrast of Light and Darkness
Imagine the entire earth growing completely dark at noon and remaining in darkness for three hours. Of course in some parts of the earth, it would already be dark. This prophecy is applicable to those places on the earth that would normally experience daylight; suddenly being covered in deep darkness. At the suffering and death of Jesus, the earth would be covered by the same darkness that was poured into Jesus as He became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
As Jesus is made sin for us, the earth resides in darkness as He suffers and dies. It is as if the whole planet has been put on notice, that-had Jesus not come to lay down His life and remove all of our sins; this planet would have remained in darkness, forever.
Darkness is often used in the Bible to indicate a judgment by God.
Darkness was one of the plagues that God put upon Egypt as a result of Pharaoh’s unwillingness to do as God had commanded him. The subject of darkness is an enduring principle of the Bible which is always used to illustrate sin, evil, foolishness, blindness, and the power of satan.
Darkness used as possible prior judgement of the Earth:
Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Darkness used as judgment of the Egyptians:
Exodus 10:22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
Darkness as evil:
Job 30:26 But when I looked for good, evil came to me; And when I waited for light, then came darkness.
Darkness used as foolishness:
Ecclesiastes 2:14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness.
Darkness as spiritual blindness:
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light.
Darkness as sin:
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Darkness as the power of satan:
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.
Jesus as the Light of the World
In this context of darkness, representing sin, evil, and judgement; Light is understood as: righteousness, goodness, the ability to see spiritual truth; wisdom, and the presence and work of God.
There are two things that happens to a person who comes in contact with Jesus as “light”: They either flee from Him or they are attracted to Him. In both cases, sin is exposed by the light of Jesus’ truth. He came into the world, not to condemn the sinner, but to save. Either a person admits that he is a sinner, as the light exposes his darkness; or he denies this truth, and remains in his darkness, and is lost.
Thus, we have the contrast of light and darkness highlighted in Isaiah by this prophecy.
Isaiah 50:3 “I clothe the heavens with blackness…
While Jesus was in the world, those who heard Him and observed the things that He did, were either drawn to Him; or repelled by Him. Through all the ages, Jesus has had a polarizing effect upon every person. People either love Him, or they hate Him. They are attracted to the light of what He said, or the light causes them anger, shame, or fear; and they flee.
As people hear the words of Jesus, they either turn to Him in repentance; or they turn from Him in rejection.
Luke 13:5 (Jesus speaking) “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
Those who seek to remain neutral, show by their indecision that their true heart is one of rejection. This is observed by the words that Jesus spoke. He said that to make no decision, either for Him or against Him; is the same as rejecting Him.
Matthew 12:30 He who is not with Me is against Me…
This is the effect that Jesus has on all people: He causes us to make a decision about our sin. We are either compelled to repent or deny; come to Jesus for salvation or flee from Him. The excuses that people make for why they can or cannot come to Jesus, all rest on this one basic truth: People love the light, or they hate it.
Those who hate the light, turn quickly and return to the life that they love; a life governed by their own will, directed by the desires of their heart; dictated by what is right in their own eyes. None of the excuses that people give for rejecting Jesus are genuine. The reality is that people simply do not want to give up their sins and come to Jesus for the salvation that He offers.
The purpose of the sun turning dark at noon and remaining dark until 3 p.m. was very likely a physical demonstration, by God, of the darkness that fell upon Jesus; as He became the sin of the world during those final three hours. Jesus had committed no sin, yet the Bible states that He had to be “made sin” in order to make our salvation possible.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
When Jesus cried out from the Cross at the ninth hour, “It is finished,” at that point; all the sins of the world were placed upon Him. It was at that moment when one of the great mysteries of the universe occurred. A break in the eternal fellowship of God had taken place. As the Son becomes the sins of the world; the Father turns away. Since God can have no fellowship with sin, the Son felt this break of communion that had never previously happened in all of eternity. It was during these final three hours that Jesus suffered the greatest; as He fell into a place of utter abandonment that no human being has ever experienced.
We can only Imagine the terror that Jesus felt as the horrifying sin of the world were placed in Him. There was an immense sorrow and extreme devastation in the heart of Jesus as He lost what was most precious to Him; the perfect unity which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit had enjoyed forever.
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
As the Light of the world is put to death when all of the sins of the world are placed upon Him, darkness covers the land for three hours; signifying the attempt of evil, sin, and death to smother and eradicate the light of God. In the same way, for three days the word remained in spiritual darkness and hopelessness; until the third day when Jesus burst forth from the grave, defeating sin and death forever. Having completed our salvation; Light has reigned over all the forces of darkness, once and for all.
As a vivid illustration of this point; Isaiah’s prophecy describes the light of the Messiah and the darkness of sin. At the coming of Jesus, when He was led to the hills of Calvary and crucified, at the sixth hour; darkness fell over the entire area, until the ninth hour.
Isaiah’s prophecy, describes the Messiah as bringing “Light” into the world. When we arrive at the Book of John in the New Testament, this Apostle of Jesus describes light in terms of the spiritual truth that Jesus has announced to the world: Jesus, as the Messiah, is God’s remedy for sin, and the only way to the Father.
John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
The darkness over the land had a second purpose:
As the Son of God was made sin, His eternal fellowship with the Father was broken. All of the sins of the world were placed upon Jesus while He hung on the cross. In that hour, God could no longer have communion with His Son; as He was made sin for us. In a vivid illustration of this moment; God covers the land with darkness. Perhaps, He was speaking of the sadness, the mourning, and anger, that was experienced by God during that time.
This moment while Jesus was on the cross was certainly not pleasant for the the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit; who had enjoyed unbroken fellowship, forever. Although it certainly pleased the Father for His Son to redeem the world, this was also a time when the full wrath of God was poured out on His Son, who bore those sins.
The eye witness testimony of those who were present at the crucifixion of Jesus, is that from the sixth hour (12 noon), until the ninth hour (3 p.m.), darkness covered all of the land. The significance of this darkness appears to be for the purpose of demonstrating how the sins of the world being placed upon Jesus was reflected upon the world who had largely rejected Him.
Part 3. When the Messiah is crucified, the sun will darken at noon.
An Extraordinary Scripture:
The Prophet Amos is the third prophecy that speaks of the sun being obstructed at noon on the day that Jesus was crucified.
Amos 8:9 “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight…”
In verse 10 of Amos Chapter 8, a further hint of the application of Amos 8:9 to the day that Jesus was crucified:
Amos 8:10 I will make it (darkness on that day) like mourning for an only son, And its end like a bitter day.
We have the sun going down at noon (verse 9), and Mourning for an only son (verse 10), from the prophecy of Amos.
As the Light of the world is put to death, when all of the sins of the world are placed on Him, darkness covers the land; signifying the attempt sin, and death, to smother and eradicate the light. For three days, the world remained in spiritual darkness and utter hopelessness, until the third day; when Jesus burst forth from the darkness, defeating sin and death. At that moment and forevermore; “Light” has reigned victoriously, having defeated all the forces of darkness once and for all.
It seems important to suggest that the darkness also had a second purpose. As Jesus was made sin for us, perhaps there was a sadness, a mourning of creation in the darkness which followed.
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Romans 8:22
These three hours were certainly not pleasant for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We should remember that it was not only Jesus, the Son of God, who suffered on the cross. The Father and the Spirit felt the same broken fellowship that ensued from Jesus being made sin for us. Certainly the sorrow that was experienced by Jesus as He became sin, was searing and incalculable. It was only with the knowledge that this action of the Son, defeating sin and death forever, purchasing the freedom of many millions of precious beings; that God was willing to bear the horrors of the cross and the death of His Son.
We should not miss the fact that when Jesus was made sin for us during these six hours that He was on the cross; the full wrath of God was poured out on Him as the penalty for all of our sins were fully atoned for. The Law of God required; the penalty of death for the sinner. Since Jesus was dying for all sinners, He was experiencing the wrath of God against all sin—from Adam to the final sinner who will dwell on the earth.
The eyewitness testimony of those who were present at the crucifixion of Jesus—describe a thick darkness that covered the land from the sixth hour (12 noon) until the ninth hour (3 p.m.). This is a confirmation that the prophecy of Amos 8:9 was written for Jesus and this specific moment in time when the Messiah bore all the sins of the world.
As the darkness passes and the sins of all people—for all time, are fully paid for by Jesus’ death, there is a remembrance of His promise that in three days; He would rise from the dead.
The cross, the darkness, and the suffering that Jesus endured, would have been meaningless if He had not risen. The Resurrection is the single greatest moment in the history of the universe.
On the morning of the third day, when the disciples and Mary arrive at the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea; they find that the burial cloth that was wrapped around Jesus, is laying upon the hewn rock of the tomb as if He came out from the covering without disturbing it.
At that moment, all the prophecies of the Bible and every prediction that Jesus made concerning Himself—became a reality that has affected all creation, forevermore.
The first morning after Jesus rose from the dead was the first day of man’s freedom and forgiveness from all sins. Light had triumphed over all darkness. Death was no longer the curse that mankind could not overcome. Sin nevermore would be the master over man’s heart.
 Velikovsky, Immanuel (1950). Worlds in Collision, Macmillan. ISBN 1-199-84874-3
 Velikovsky, Immanuel , Ages in Chaos, ISBN-10: 0899667279 ISBN-13: 978-0899667270
 George Syncellus, Chronography 391
 Chronicle, Olympiad 202, trans. Carrier (1999)
 Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter 21, 19 cited in Bouw, G. D. (1998, Spring). The darkness during the crucifixion. The Biblical Astronomer, 8(84). Retrieved November 30, 2006 from . Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter 21, 19
 Rufinus, Ecclesiastical History, Book 9, Chapter 6 Ussher, J., & Pierce, L. (Trans.)(2007). Annals of the World [p. 822]. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Publishing Group. ISBN 0-89051-510-7
 Orosius, P. (A.D. 417). The Seven Books of History Against the Pagans. In, R. J. Deferrari (Trans.) & H. Dressler, et al. (Vol. Eds.) (1964). The Fathers of the Church – Vol. 50 (1st short-run printing 2001, pp. 291-292). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press. ISBN 978-0-8132-1310-1.
 Origen. “Contra Celsum (Against Celsus), Book 2, XXXIII”
 Ibid, Origen.
 Donaldson, Coxe (1888). The ante-Nicene fathers. 6. New York: The Christian Literature Publishing Co.. p. 136.
 Tertullian. “Apologeticum”
 1.Colin J. Humphreys and W. G. Waddington, The Date of the Crucifixion Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 37 (March 1985)
2.Colin Humphreys, The Mystery of the Last Supper Cambridge University Press 2011 ISBN 978-0-521-73200-0, p. 193 (However note that Humphreys places the Last Supper on a Wednesday)
 Whether or not a prior judgment occurred, is still under debate.
 Mark 9:31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”