We come now to Jesus Christ. Think about our Lord’s birth. When Jesus was born, darkness covered the earth. When Jesus made His appearance on this planet, Israel was under the iron fist of the Roman Empire. God’s people were being oppressed and suppressed. It was a sad, dark time for the people of Israel. It was an evening, a dark night. And then the Light appeared.
In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.… The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. (John 1:4–5, 9)
After living on the earth for thirty-three years, our Lord had a dark night in Gethsemane. It was there that He faced the reality of a gruesome, catastrophic evening that awaited Him at Calvary. And He submitted to it. The writer of Hebrews says that the Lord endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Jesus knew that a glorious morning would follow His evening. He knew that the dawn would follow His dark night. This gave Him the power to endure.
But look over at the disciples. That’s another story altogether, and I want to paint the scene for you. These are the associates of the Lord’s ministry. The last three years have been cushy for them. They got their IRS taxes paid by going fishing. When they were hungry, the Lord created food out of scraps. They were insulated from criticism and persecution. Jesus handled it all. They simply followed and observed.
But Jesus forewarned the Twelve saying, “I will be taken away from you; but it is better that I be taken away. For if I am not taken away, the Spirit cannot come.”
Jesus told the disciples of John the Baptist, “My disciples do not fast when the Bridegroom is here. But when He is taken away, then they will fast and they will mourn” (see Mark 2:19–20).
The Lord was indeed taken away. And what was the disciples’ response? They went back to their old life. I suspect they were thinking, It’s over. We followed Him for over three years, and He let them kill Him. So where are we now?
The Lord forewarned that they would experience sorrow. But their sorrow would be turned to joy.
The cross occurred on Friday. But as the preacher of old said, “Watch out, Devil, ’cause yonder come Sunday morning!”
Yes, Sunday morning came. But Sunday morning is so far removed from Friday that it’s hard to conceive. Sometimes there are light years between Friday and Sunday.
When we are enduring the dark night, we are not thinking about the morning. We are not thinking about the day. We can only see blackness. Nevertheless, the morning will indeed come to pass.
From Revise Us Again by Frank Viola, author