It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land
until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured;
and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said,
"Father into your hands I commit my spirit."
Having said this, he breathed his last.
Yesterday Bryan came home and told me about a Catholic priest he had heard on the radio. The priest was remembering that while he was growing up from noon until three every Good Friday, his family observed a time of silence. The quiet, three hours without a noise, impressed upon him the solemnity of that day. When Bryan told me the story I was in favor of three hours of silence, though not for religious reasons. I was only imagining a little peace and quiet in this rowdy home.
Last night I looked up those verses in Luke and have been meditating, quietly, in the midst of stillness and noise, on those three hours of darkness covering the land.
God's righteousness, justice and wrath snuffed out the Light of the World. Jesus, who out of darkness brought the sun and stars that fill night and day alike with light. Jesus whose face shone and men could not look upon it because of the light of His presence. Jesus who lead the Israelites through the wilderness in a pillar of fire by night. He who filled the Holy of Holies with His light. As the Light died, the world was dark. Darkness was over the whole land, even the sun ceased to shine on that long ago day. But out of darkness, light; and dawn broke on the third day.
His light shines in our darkness, in the darkness of my heart, and shines ever brighter until that day. That day when darkness will be no more. The darkness had its moment of triumph, but could not conquer. Darkness could not swallow One who called Himself the Bright Morning Star.
And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need
of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun,
because the Lord God will illumine them;
and they will reign forever and ever.