“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.” Luke 23:44-46 ESV
Hope seemed lost. Those who hated Jesus saw it as a victory while others cried for the “one who was sent to save the world.” I think about this day and what people may have felt. To them, they saw no bright light at the end of the tunnel. I think even the strongest of believers felt empty. But as we all know — God wasn’t done.
Each Easter we look at the crucifixion of Jesus and try to make sense of it. We’re reminded that as Jesus hung on the cross he thought of YOU and me. He knew who would deny him, who would run from him and who would live their lives preaching about his sacrifice. He died so that we could live. He died so we could talk to God as we drive to work. These small luxuries were given to us by God’s one and only son. Jesus also died so we could be free. So we could see there is hope in a dark world.
If you’re in the midst of darkness today then I want you to think of what it may have felt like seeing Jesus die. Look at your life now. Are you struggling? What is going on in your life that makes you feel hopeless? What have you endured that has broken your heart so much you can’t see any way out? If you know the story of Jesus’ death then you know it wasn’t the end.
Sunday is coming! No one knew Jesus would walk out of that tomb 3 days later. I can imagine those 3 days of mourning were brutal. They were trying to make sense of it. Trying to figure out why he had to die. But then they learned he wasn’t dead.
“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”
Finally, the hope they so longed for was there. Proof that Jesus’ death was not in vain. That it was for a purpose. There was the light at the end of the tunnel. That is the same for you.
“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Luke 24:46-48
As you face your struggles, remember God’s timing is perfect. God could have raised Jesus from the dead any moment. He could have taken him off of the cross at any time. But God chose the perfect timing. Just like he is doing in your life. You may be struggling to see the hope, but your resurrection day is coming. The day when you look back on your most painful day and see it as a message. God took something so ugly and made it into a beautiful story. One that we look to each day and give thanks. Same goes for your story. God will use whatever mess and turn it into a message.
But you have to let him. Don’t let it be done in vain. Don’t let your pain determine your future. Use it as a tool to do good for God’s kingdom. Find a way to help others. Remember, Jesus died so that you may live. He broke those chains for you. Now you just have to let them go and start taking one step at a time. Whatever you are facing God is with you. Know that he will turn your life into a beautiful masterpiece.
“And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” – Luke 24:38-40