Light for the Dark Days
Jesus said, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.” John 12:46
My husband and I once took an overnight cruise to Nova Scotia. We boarded the ship just before sunset. When we’d sailed far from the harbor, I was struck by the sky’s intense blackness. We saw nothing beyond the soft lights on the deck.
We awoke to a white fog in the morning. In a way this whiteness was like the darkness of the previous night. Normally daylight helps us to see, but that foggy day revealed nothing but whiteness. I was glad the boat’s pilot had instruments to warn him of what he couldn’t see and to indicate the right way to go.
While Jesus was dying on the cross, the sky was dark as night from noon until three in the afternoon. As His lifeless body was removed from the cross and placed in a tomb, His followers must have felt the darkness creep into their souls. The daylight returned after 3:00, but the darkness remained in their hearts.
We can only imagine what the disciples experienced between Friday and Sunday. Memories of promises Jesus had made to them were blotted out by grief. Later the angel at the tomb reminded them of what Jesus had said about being resurrected (Luke 24:5-8).
When the world around us seems to grow darker and darker each day with sinfulness and evil, we may experience a spiritual darkness similar to the grief and bewilderment Jesus’ followers felt after He had died. We may feel like the passengers on that boat in Nova Scotia–engulfed by the dark of night or a blinding morning fog. But like the pilot of that boat, we have a guiding instrument. God placed the Holy Spirit in us to warn us of what we cannot see and to tell us the right way to go.
Do we let the darkness overwhelm us or do we rely on the Holy Spirit? Do we cling to the light provided by the resurrected Jesus Christ?
Read John 12:35-38. What does Jesus call those who put their trust in the light? How does He describe those who choose to walk in the darkness? How can we tell if we are walking in the light?
According to Psalm 139:11-12, what should we remember when we are tempted to feel overwhelmed by the darkness?
Read John 20:1-18. Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb on Sunday. What time of day is it? How do you think she felt as she approached the tomb? What did she discover at the tomb? How did she feel after she spoke with Jesus?
What did Jesus tell His disciples about His imminent death in Matthew 17:22-23 and 20:17-19? What additional promises does Jesus make about the future in Matthew 16:21-27?
Nancy J. Baker