One had to be within the approximately 75 mile swath of its passing to see the total eclipse of the sun. For our part her in east Tennessee, we were blessed to be inside that band. But even those outside of it still got to experience a partial eclipse of the sun.
Given our location, we had family from out of state come up to join us. And I must say that it was quite a blessing to have family and friends gather with us and experience this once in a lifetime event together.
Exactly as projected, the sky began to darken at exactly 1:04:11pm, the total eclipse began at 2:32:55pm, the maximum eclipse occurred at 2:33:56pm, the total eclipse ended at 2:35:56 pm, and the darkness had fully dissipated by 3:58:27pm.
As I stood there with my family observing this breathtaking event, I reflected on what all this day had entailed.
Think about it… Early this morning, the darkness of the night was shattered as the sun came up and climbed into the sky, shining in all of its brilliance. Due to this single fact, a light shining in the darkness, we who inhabit this planet were suddenly all able to see – as opposed to before, in the darkness of the night, when we could not.
But, then, after only a few short hours, forces came into play that sought to obliterate the sun and its illuminating light. A little later, those forces prevailed; and the brilliance of the sun was extinguished. We were plunged back into the uncertainty of darkness once again.
But this lasted for only a short period of time - a little under three minutes at most. And then, those forces notwithstanding, the sun was no longer able to be contained! In short order, it had burst forth once again in all its glory! And suddenly, we who were in utter darkness found ourselves once again bathed in its splendid life-giving light! And all this because the sun had returned to its proper place of glory in the heavens!
As I observed these things, I could not help but draw several spiritual parallels.
You see, some two thousand years ago, the son of God came into this world, in the words of the Apostle John, as a light shining in the darkness! He brought the true light of God into this dark world.
But the, after a brief period of thirty three and a half years of life, the forces of darkness conspired to put an end to Him and His glory. Accordingly, they nailed Him to a cross, put Him to death, and then threw Him into a borrowed tomb. And then, they celebrated their victory over the Light of the world!
But, oh, my friend, it was only a supposed victory over the light of the world. For it was destined to be short-lived. It lasted just three short days! And then, suddenly, on that first Easter morning, the stone was rolled away and the darkness was cast aside as the Son of God burst forth once again in all His brilliance!
For my part, I have been to that very spot in Jerusalem celebrated as the place where the Light of men burst forth again in His full glory! I have seen with my own eyes the empty tomb; and also the sign that hangs there stating, “He is not here, for He is risen!”
In that sense, my friend, I have seen the light! I am one of those being referred in the Bible when it says (in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, chapter nine, verse two), “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned!”
I can only hope you are one as well. I hope you too have the true Light that gives light to all people! I leave you with these wonderful words from the New Testament Gospel of John (chapter one)…
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God… the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us… in him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness… the true light that gives light to every man… to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”
SCRIPTURE SOURCES: http://biblehub.com/isaiah/9-2.htm and http://biblehub.com/niv/john/1.htm.