Darkness and light have such an obvious contrast. In one we strain and stumble and injure ourselves on the unseen objects in our path. In the other there is freedom and warmth. We are able to run instead of creep and able to roam instead of ramble. It has been that way since the beginning of creation. The crucifixion of Jesus became a defining point of the stark contrast.
Genesis tells us that before the creation of the world there was “darkness over the face of the deep.” Then God spoke and light appeared. Instantly upon the command of God a separation was made between that which was dark and that which was light. John 1:1 tells us that “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John identifies Jesus as the very Word of God spoken to bring light into the world. In Colossians, Paul tells us that “by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.”
While Jesus hung on the cross, light turned to darkness. Mark 15 tells us that from noon until 3:00 darkness reigned over the entire land. It seemed like sin had thrown the world into utter chaos. When there was supposed to be light there was darkness. The one who was the “light of the world” now hung in the shadows of night.
In our lives, sin is darkness. The scripture says that men hate the light because it reveals the darkness of our hearts and the sinfulness of our nature. We are exposed for the shameful and sinful creatures that we have become. Humanity loves the darkness.
But the death of Jesus brought new light into history. No longer was humanity slave to our dark nature, but we were free to experience light because of the love of the source of light. While still on the earth Jesus compared his disciples to a city on a hill; a light not hidden in the darkness of this world.
As Friday approaches, our minds turn toward the darkness of the cross. We sense the pain and frailty of human existence as it is brutally executed. It is easy to turn dark. However, without the darkness we could never comprehend the light. In the depth of the darkness the brilliance of the light is even more majestic.
Jesus, thank you for taking on the darkness and overcoming it with the light of your love. Help me to experience this life in light and love that you bought on a painful cross on a darkened hill. Amen.