In the Darkness

March 27, 2005

Today, in an antithetical Easter celebration, I spent Easter morning alone. Not finding satisfactory company on the seven hundred cable channels, I chose to read the four Gospel accounts of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. I was most impressed by the sense of darkness and despair that permeated the air of Thursday, Friday and Saturday lo those many years ago.

Christ faced a known death, asked for it to pass, and went to it in fulfillment of the prophecy and His Father’s will. The Father was silent because He had already spoken: it must be done. And Jesus, for the joy (do you hear that in the mournful tones of Thursday, Friday and Saturday? I confess it is a tone too low for my ears) that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.

As I read, I sensed that this is the ultimate example of choosing to continue on a path though it seems hopeless at best, insane and worthless at worst. How many times in my life have I let the darkness direct the outcome rather than the course chosen before the darkness came? Jesus knew the light of Resurrection Sunday lay at the end of the tunnel, even when He couldn’t see past the agony of Thursday night and Friday. He believed and obeyed and for that we are eternally blessed.

In some small way may I walk my dark Thursdays and Fridays with the same sense of clarity and purpose Christ had. Sunday is coming. Do our hearts not pound as we read the last chapters of each gospel account? The angels show up, push the rocks away, and say, “See? He told you. It’s true! Now go and tell everyone! The good guys win!” Woo hoo!

The darkness is not only gone, it’s obliterated. It’s replaced with a sense of wonder, a slight embarrassment that we doubted at all, but most of all joy. Joy that comes from having endured the dark; joy that allows us to be seated with Christ at God’s right hand.

Thank you Jesus for Sunday. But thank you also for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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