On Good Friday, it would have felt as though hope itself had died. ‘At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. [Then] Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’). (Mark 15:33-34)
Jesus’ disciples could only look on in horror as their saviour was hammered into a block of wood, hoisted high for all to see; suffocated; spat on; stabbed.
There can be little doubt that parts of the world are covered in darkness today. A brief glance at the news will tell us that. There are so many heartbreaking, gut-wrenching stories that it can be hard just to keep up with it all – and it feels as though all we can do is look on in horror.
The greatest light
Our faith does not shy away from harsh realities. We worship a God who is there in the midst of the pain. We must not look away.
And yet, today we can remember that the darkness that covered the land when Jesus died was not fatal. It was instead a declaration that redemption, not despair, has the final word. On Good Friday, hope was written large across a lightless sky. The greatest darkness was a precursor to the greatest light.
This is not only a historical event that we can take heart from. Jesus’ death and resurrection revealed the pattern of life itself. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are present realities. Darkness, no matter how great, cannot defeat the light; indeed, it often brings it forth – the seed that is buried bursts up from the ground. Redemption doesn’t just have the final word, redemption is the final word.
Let us hold on to that truth as we look out at the darkness that is consuming so many places. Let us nurture the seed of hope in our souls.
Pray with us
‘Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story…’ (Psalm 107:2)
It is through storytelling – through sharing testimonies of God at work – that the good news of Jesus has spread so widely throughout the world. Stories are a powerful way in which we can combat darkness – by sharing the light.
As an act of prayer, read the following three short stories. All of them begin with darkness – with poverty, loneliness, and a feeling of hopelessness. Yet they do not end that way. As you read them, prayerfully commit whatever is weighing on your heart to God. There is a suggested response you can say at the end of each story.