Day 6: Jesus Dies

by Apr 15, 2022Devotional, Easter 2022, Journey of the Cross

Mark 15:33-35 (ESV)

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”  And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.  And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

 

There are moments in life when the light goes out and all is dark. Sometimes it’s sudden, the phone call in the middle of the night that upends everything and snuffs the light out in our lives. Sometimes it’s a slow dimming, the helpless feeling we get as we realize that the countless prayers for the healing of a loved one aren’t going to be answered the way we hoped. There are times when our souls cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and it feels like all is lost. 

On a spring day in the early first century, the entire universe experienced this moment. The light of the noonday sun was overcome as the darkest moment in all of history occurred. 

Just days before the light was shining bright as Jesus made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The disciples were full of hope that the Light of World was about to shine forth and bring His people out of darkness. They never thought that the darkness could touch the Light until the unthinkable happened.  On a hill outside of Jerusalem, the Light of the World went out. 

But it is in the darkness that the new day begins. In the Bible, the new day begins not at sunrise, but at sunset – and there was evening and morning the first day (Gen 1:5). The Sabbath, the rest of God, begins at sunset on Friday. The gateway to God’s rest opens in the darkness. 

I have known seasons of darkness. I’ve known the sudden and the slow. I’ve known the darkness that descends from outside and the darkness that overwhelms from within. More than likely, I’ll know them again. While I will never love the darkness, I no longer fear it. I’ve come to know and learned to trust that the darkness means only that another curtain is being wrent; another barrier between me and new life in God’s presence is being torn down; another gateway is being open to a new day. This doesn’t turn the darkness into light, we must still travel through the hours of dark to reach the new day, but we can do so with knowledge that there is a new day of rest and peace on the other side of the darkness.  

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