Thursday, 05 April 2012
Today I reflect on the darkest day in the history of the world. Oh, there have been many dark days. Some dark days on an international scale such as days of the holocaust, and some days on a national scale such as 9/11. Then there are dark days on a very personal level…the loss of a child, or betrayal on a level you were completely unable to deal with.
But this day was a day like no other. Following a very long night of betrayal, arrest, false charges, fixed courts, abandonment and an angry mob demanding the death of one in whom it was ultimately said, “I find no fault in Him”. Today, the created beings will put to death the Creator. Today the guilty will murder the innocent.
Before Christ was nailed to the cross, He endured a terrible beating. Listen to this graphic description given to us by Eusebius, a church historian of Caesarea: “For they say that the bystanders were struck with amazement when they saw them lacerated with scourges even to the innermost veins and arteries, so that the hidden inward parts of the body, both their bowels and their members, were exposed to view” (Ecclesiastical History, Book 4, chap. 15).
Once on the cross, the world grew dark. Is this the Prince of Peace? Is this the same man who just days before raised Lazarus from the dead? How can this be?
And what does He say while suspended by those nails, gasping for breath? It almost seems absurd!
Father forgive them… (Luke 23:34) Forgive them? Shouldn’t they be crucified instead?
…today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43) But he truly was a thief!
Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27) The humanity of Christ!
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34) The divinity?
I thirst (John 19:28) Yet He created the oceans!
It is finished (John 19:30). He came not to be served, but to serve, to seek and save the lost!
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46) The light has been put out.