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'Keep Your Eyes on Jesus,' Not the Eclipse

08-15-2017
Created by Don Davis with NASA HEC support © Rice University 2017
Created by Don Davis with NASA HEC support © Rice University 2017

JERUSALEM, Israel – God can speak to us through signs in the heavens, but the primary way God speaks to Christians is through His Son, said Stephen Bridge, the director of Jerusalem's Garden Tomb.

Some 300,000 Christians from around the world are expected to visit the Garden Tomb  this year. Many believe that it's the garden and sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea, and therefore a possible site of the resurrection of Jesus.

In light of the upcoming solar eclipse, which will be visible across parts of the United States on August 21, CBN News asked Bridge if he thinks God is still speaking to us by signs in the heavens.

"I think that some of that depends on our own personality – and I'm not downplaying that – but the biggest way God speaks is through His Son," Bridge said.

"So the writer to the Hebrews draws that out. In former times God spoke in many and various ways through the prophets, but in the last days He's spoken through His Son and so for us that Jesus is the revelation, Jesus is the Word made flesh, Jesus is the ultimate sign and His death and resurrection, the ultimate sign of that," Bridge said.

The Bible tells us there were three hours of darkness when Jesus was hanging on the cross and the moment he gave up his spirit "the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and the rocks split."  

"The four Gospel writers each pick out different facts that are not in any way contradictory but they are highlighting different facts in order to make strongly the points they particularly are trying to make," Bridge explained.
 
Matthew is the only Gospel that mentions the darkness.  But the central theme of all is that "that the word became flesh and the flesh, the Word of God, died on a cross just outside the city walls of Jerusalem and that in so doing God carried in His own body of the Messiah the sins of the world and through Him reconciled all things to Himself," he said.

Could that darkness have been an eclipse and what did it mean?

According to NASA, a solar eclipse, when the sun is darkened, only lasts a few minutes. Based on that information, it couldn't have been an eclipse.

"We have no explanation of what it was or even what it meant, but it certainly would have invoked in the people who were there a profound sense of something monumental, which indeed it was," Bridge said.

So how should believers relate to the upcoming astronomical events?

"Keep our eyes on Jesus," Bridge he said, pointing out that so far everyone who predicted a date for the return of Jesus or the start of the tribulation has been wrong.  
"So I think we just need to be cautious, fix our eyes on Jesus, hold firmly to scripture and keep proclaiming the mystery and the profound victory of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah."

 

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