by Cassie Downs,
I wonder if the people experienced anything like it before? Were they afraid, intrigued, or somewhere in between? Did they think for a moment, this is it? Or did they go on living life as if nothing was happening?
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? This is our country right now. But I’m actually talking about the people caught in the darkness surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus.
When I reread the crucifixion story, (because it’s almost Easter and if you haven’t, you should, we all need reminding) I came to the place in scripture that mentioned the whole land became dark. And the Lord spoke to me about the darkness that sometimes overtakes us. I’m sure you can attest to the darkness, especially with COVID-19 impacting everyone. But your darkness doesn’t start and stop with this virus. Darkness comes in the form of sin, physical illnesses, financial struggles, relational issues, death, addictions, depression… the list goes on. Not one of us is exempt from dark days (John 16:33). 45 From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness came over the whole land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni? ” that is,“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me ?”
— Matthew 27:45-46 (CSB)
Some bible commentators believe the darkness that came upon the earth was the sin of the world falling on Jesus’ shoulders. Beat beyond recognition, rejected by loved ones, sold out by his friends; Jesus bore the sins of the people who put him on the cross, the sin of those who loved him, who hated him, your sins and my sins, the sin of those before us and after us. He bore all of it; the sin, the shame, the shortcomings. It was a dark day for Jesus. His father who sent Him couldn’t even look at Him. How alone Jesus must have felt in his darkest hour.
Have those you love rejected you? Betrayed you? Are there times you feel forgotten by the Father?
Darkness can be very overwhelming, isolating, and scary. But our darkness isn’t the end. We may feel it and experience it; I’m not downplaying the pain, hurt, or the frustration it brings.
When it’s your momma, your daddy, your baby, you’re laying to rest; the darkness is real.
When it’s your marriage in shambles, the darkness is real.
When you can’t buy groceries, the darkness is real.
But friend, the darkness you are experiencing is not the end. Jesus did not come to bring darkness and death into your situation, He came to bring light and life. He came to rescue you from the darkness!
5 The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.
6 He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
— Matthew 28:5-6 (CSB)
Jesus’ darkest day became the most glorious day. One day He’s hanging on a cross and a few days later He is alive; and we are alive with Him. That’s great news, friend. You may walk through some dark days, dark valleys (Psalm 23) but the Lord will be with you. He can give you life amid a dead situation. He can breathe life into every area of your being. Will you allow Him access?
Our darkest days are never too dark for Jesus. Rather, our darkest days are a great opportunity for Him to show up and show out in our life; bringing life to us and bringing glory to HIM. You may walk in darkness today, but you don’t have to stay there. Jesus is the way out of the darkness. Not only is He the way out, but He will work the darkness out for your good and use it for HIS glory.
Let Jesus comfort you, guide you, rescue you from the darkness that is TRYING to overtake you. Fix your eyes on the ONE who can bring light and life to you.
All things work together for the GOOD of those who LOVE GOD and are called according to HIS purpose (Roman 8:28)