In the midst of deepest darkness

I can’t even begin to imagine the terror, heartache and deep disappointment.  The disciples loved Him.  They had walked away from their livelihoods, families and former lives to follow Him.  Everything they believed was shaken completely to the core and made to seem worthless and meaningless.  Dazed and shocked by the sudden turn of events, they clung to each other not knowing what was yet to come.

As saddened and reflective we are about Good Friday, it has to pale in comparison to what the disciples experienced.  After all, we know what happens next.  We know how the story ends (or really, just begins!).  We grieve over His death, but utter confidently – Sunday’s coming!

The disciples didn’t know what was coming.  They were in the midst of the deepest darkness and couldn’t see any way out.  In some small way it reminds me of times my kids watch movies.  Several of our kids are highly sensitive to “adventure” and “suspense”.  They don’t even like Disney movies because they’re “too scary”.  Sometimes when we’re watching a movie together as a family, I’ll often try to reassure them with details of the end of the movie, trying to convince them that “everything turns out good in the end.”

As much as Jesus tried to reassure His disciples ahead of time that “everything turns out good in the end”, they didn’t understand, remember or believe it when they found themselves staring at Him hanging dead on the cross.  It’s easy for us to point to details in scripture – details like Jesus predicting not only His death, but also His resurrection at least three times.  It’s easy for us to overlook the immense sorrow and pain the disciples must have experienced as we look forward to His glorious resurrection.

How many of us have found ourselves in the midst of the deepest darkness?  We don’t know and can’t even muster the hope to trust that “everything turns out good in the end.”  Some of Jesus’ last words were “it is finished” and there are many applications and meanings behind this utterance.  But I wonder tonight if that despairing hopelessness with no ability to trust that “everything will turn out good in the end” was one thing Jesus was declaring “finished”.

It is finished.
It is finished.

Before we jump ahead too quickly to Easter Sunday, let us pause and truly consider Good Friday.  Let us mine the depths of the meaning and significance to this day in history.  Don’t be too anxious to retreat from the sorrow and pain experienced both by Jesus and His disciples.  What do the words “it is finished” mean in your own life?  What did Jesus’ sacrifice put to death for you?  From what can you freely walk away, trusting that it truly is finished?

Maybe this Holy Week, as much as you want to celebrate joyfully His glorious resurrection, you are troubled and burdened by circumstances and struggles.  Allow yourself to mourn, but also allow His words “it is finished” to whisper hope in your soul.  Even though you find yourself in the midst of darkness and there appears no way out, know that truly “everything turns out good in the end”.  After all, Sunday’s coming!