Dark Thursday, Darkened Hearts, and the Light of the World
It is Thursday of the Holy Week. Sunday is coming.
It was dark that Thursday night long ago. The true light had come into the world, but men had loved the darkness and hated the light. That hatred had reached a murderous, hell-bound pitch as wicked men plotted the murder of the Son of God.
Torches and lanterns casting shadows off the spears and clubs could not penetrate the darkness in men’s hearts. The creatures, acting in accordance with their fallen nature, were in all-out rebellion against their creator.
The judgment of God would be poured out, but his flaming arrow of wrath would not be pointed at humanity, but instead at his own Son, standing in their place. Fallen humanity would be redeemed but the cost would be unspeakably high.
His soul was sorrowful unto death. He fell to the ground, crying out to God, “Abba Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” He prayed all night, saying the same words. But the time came, the betrayer was at hand, the darkness deepened. The mob came out against him as against a robber. The darkened heart of man is on full display in violence, retaliation, betrayal, and abandonment. His own disciples fled in terror, and he stood alone.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. -John 1:4
He had healed their diseases, patiently taught them, and revealed the Father to them. He demonstrated servant leadership, receiving everyone, dining with the least of them, and washing their feet. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” He called them friends and taught them that love is laying down your life for your friends. But the darkness did not comprehend the light and did not receive it and on the night of his betrayal and arrest, it appeared the darkness would prevail.
Yet, the light of the Son was not vanquished. Hope remains. What was it that he said? “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” So, all who have put their faith and trust in Christ alone, come to the supper united as one. We eat the bread and drink the wine and we remember his bloodshed for the forgiveness of our sin and his body sacrificed as the price of our redemption.
We stand in the truth and grace of the new covenant, inaugurated in his blood, our rebel hearts of stone replaced with soft hearts alive to God, and we proclaim, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”