Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. Matthew 27:45(ESV)
And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. Mark 15:33 (ESV)
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (ESV)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5 (ESV)
Have you experienced darkness? I mean total darkness. Imagine being unable to see at all. Nothing but blackness is visible. You can discern neither up nor down. There is nothing to guide your perception or even your reality. Think about this. It’s completely disorienting, is it not?
We are about to recognize the anniversary of that horrible event. The gospels of both Matthew and Mark report that when Jesus died on that cross, there was darkness. Just think how startled the witnesses must have been. What had happened to the light? Was this a sign? Throughout the Old Testament the contrast between darkness and light is brought forward. What event could have brought more contrast than the death of Jesus on the cross. But when the women went to the tomb and found it empty, they were there in the light of day. In fact, the writers of the beautiful hymn, In Christ Alone wrote,
“Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again.”
Songwriters: Keith Getty / Stuart Townend In Christ Alone lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group
The most interesting thing to me is the paradox of light and darkness. You see, light is real. It is the visible sign of waves of energy. Waves that can be measured and replicated. Darkness is no real thing. It is simply, the absence of light. It is literally the placeholder for nothingness.
Recently the residents of my city, Nashville experienced the reality of this paradox. Last Monday, March 27, 2023 is a day that we will never forget. My youngest grandsons attend The Covenant School, the sight of the unspeakable act of terror. That morning began clear and bright, with a cloudless sky. But before noon that day, a terrible darkness had invaded our hearts, blackening out the beauties of spring, darkening our paths. But then somethings began to happen. The heart of a community, sometimes at odds, began to be knit together in a seamless tunic of good and kindness. So many stories of goodness and kindness. The beautiful metaphor of light and dark began to spread. I know what happened: the light had re-entered our world. And where there is light, darkness cannot hide.
Enter into grace! Light the darkness! He LIVES!