Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. (Matthew 27: 45)

It was the Hour of Darkness; yet, there was hope. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus there was a scuffle. In the battle, a disciple cut off the ear of a slave; and Jesus healed him. It was a time of bloodshed; yet, there was healing.

The disciples ran away from Jesus in terror. Peter denied Jesus to save his own skin; and Jesus went boldly to the Cross. It was a day of fear; yet, there was courage.

The soldiers made fun of Jesus. The criminals taunted Him. There was a crown of thorns placed on His head. Pilate placed a sign over His head in derision; and the sign proclaimed, “This is the King.” It was a time of mockery; yet, there was the truth.

The priests plotted to kill Jesus. The crowd cried, "Crucify Him!". The soldiers hammered nails into His flesh. As the people laughed in angry triumph; and Jesus said, “Father, forgive them.” It was a moment filled with hatred; yet, there was love.

They whipped Him till His back was bloody. They dragged Him through the streets to a place called “The Skull”. They hung Him on a tree to die; and Jesus Said, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” It was a day of death; yet, there was life.

Darkness covered the whole earth. The thunder roared. The curtain was torn. Jesus bowed His head and died; and the Centurion said, “Truly, this is the Son of God.” It was the Hour of Darkness; yet, there was hope.

Even in this darkness, there is hope. The words of Matthew are these, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land, until the ninth hour.” Note the word “until”. That simple word is full of hope. For it tells us the darkness is temporary. Jesus said it when He was arrested, “But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Jesus knew the darkness was coming. But He knew it was limited. It was as if Jesus is saying to Satan, “I'll give you an hour. This is your time, a time where evil rules, and death reigns. Yes, this is your time Satan. But it's about to end.” The darkness, as evil as it is, is not all-powerful. “There was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.” The victory of Satan is short-lived. Soon the light will shatter the darkness, and there will be hope again.

Hear the words from the 1st chapter of John, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Way back on Christmas, the hope of Good Friday was proclaimed. On Good Friday the darkness came. But the darkness cannot overcome it. The Light that was born in Bethlehem will shine in the end. Even death cannot extinguish the Light of Our Lord and Savior. From the grave, the Light of Jesus will shine forth.

On Good Friday, Jesus cried, “It is Finished!” and yielded up His Spirit to death. But long before this dark Friday came words of hope. “I know that my Redeemer lives. For now is Christ risen from the dead.” The darkness is over. The Light has come. Jesus Christ has risen! Alleluia!!

Your friend in Christ,

Pastor Ron.