The Darkest Day, Our Brightest Hope


By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.

-Luke 23:44-46

Have you ever almost hit an animal while you were driving? What was your reaction? Mine is to close my eyes. It’s such a dangerous habit I’ve been trying to break. It makes me so sad to see another creature unknowingly running towards its death. I close my eyes because the mere thought of me killing an innocent creature causes me anguish. My sinful heart convinces my brain to look away from the dirty parts of humanity. The parts that are painful and wicked. The parts that we have no control over. It’s easier to look away than face the injustice that plagues our fallen world. It’s easier to look away than confront the reality of the role I play in that injustice.

The crucifixion (Extreme and painful punishment, affliction, or suffering. [Merriam-Webster]. The execution of a person by nailing or binding them to a cross [Dictionary.com]) of Jesus is one of the hardest parts of the Bible to look at. In fact, it’s the most crucial one for us to not only look at, but to meditate on and fully absorb. We need to understand the gravity of our sin and the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice and suffering for us. I encourage you to go deeper by reading the verses in the four Gospels, Matthew (Chapter 27), Mark (Chapter 15), Luke (Chapter 23), and John (Chapter 19). They each depict the death of Jesus in a different light.

After Jesus was beaten and tortured by Roman soldiers, they began their walk toward Calvary (the location where Jesus was crucified, also called Golgotha and Place of the Skull). A crowd followed them, including women who were grief-stricken. Jesus responded to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children.” - Luke 23:28 (NLT)

Even as He walked towards His impending brutal death, He was selfless. His thoughts were of the suffering of others, not His own.

Jesus, being the only man without sin, hung on the cross and died a disgraceful death for us without resisting. Luke 23:44 tell us “darkness fell across the whole land.” Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). It’s our sin that nailed Jesus to that cross. He took the punishment for all of mankind. When we sin it can feel like uncontrollable darkness creeping in.

But Jesus overcame the darkness.

The curtain being torn in the sanctuary of the temple (Luke 23:45) signifies Jesus’ sacrifice for us. What Jesus accomplished at Calvary gives us all the freedom to live in eternity. Our sin no longer renders us inadequate to directly approach God anywhere at any moment.

I don’t know what suffering you’re enduring or what sin you’re imprisoned in, but God does. He has not abandoned you. He wants to rescue you from your sin, not condemn you for it. Jesus overcame evil by purchasing your salvation (deliverance from the power and effects of sin.) You only need to call out His name.

But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. - Acts 2:21 (NLT)

We cannot afford to ignore the crucifixion of Christ or His resurrection. Don’t look away!

Freedom is what we have - Christ has set us free! Stand, then as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.” - Galatians 5:1 (GNT)

Let’s start living in that freedom.

Reflection

1. What sin in your life do you look away from?

2. If you could write a letter to Jesus, what would you say? Write it out & share with a friend.

Prayer

Jesus, Savior of the world. Thank You for Your sacrifice and taking my punishment. Please forgive me for taking advantage of Your priceless gift. Please help me to boldly look directly into my sin, repent, and live in the freedom that You bought for me. Thank You for loving me unconditionally. In Your name I pray, Amen.

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