It is always darkest before dawn

Have you ever woken up before the sunrise, and looked outside? You have this expectation of being awake for that first glimpse of color over the horizon. This is the first visual indication that morning is coming. But before we see that first light, especially if the moon isn’t visible, it is pitch black.

Blackness. A never-ending nothingness. We cannot see anything. Without a manmade light, or a God-made moon or stars, we cannot see anything. It is as though our eyes have gone blind. We cannot see light if there isn’t any. Compare this to being in a cave when they turn out all of the lights – your hand isn’t even visible to you. It is total darkness. If you have claustrophobia, this is a very bad moment for you.

This is a good comparison to how our life is without Jesus in it. It is like stumbling around because we cannot see the obstacles in our path, so we feel our way around, getting hurt along the way. We cannot see the path before us so we blindly guess, taking wrong turns, getting completely lost.

“Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and thick darkness!…”
Joel 2:2a

When Jesus died and was buried, his disciples must have felt like they were engulfed in total darkness. Their Hope, their Way, their Teacher and Lord was now gone, so they were left alone, like sheep without a shepherd. They hid, they cried, they questioned “why did Jesus allow this to happen”?

For believers and followers of Jesus, we remember and mourn his death, and feel a very heavy heart all of the Saturday before Resurrection Sunday. We wonder exactly what happened after Jesus died…what did he do for those three days? Was he simply dead? Did he go to Hell and take back those who were dead but were righteous in Him? Did Jesus confront Satan and tell him he won the battle? We do not know. Regardless of these mysteries, we do know that when Jesus died, he willingly gave his Spirit back to God. He said, “Into thy hands I commit my Spirit.”
His body was dead, but His Spirit was not.
For three days….

But remember, when the first rays of the sun touch our atmosphere, the most remarkable thing begins to happen. The color of the horizon begins to take on a slight pinkish hue, then turns more peachy, then yellowy. Within just a few minutes, it’s as though the entire skyline is on fire with the glorious colors of morning!

Just as it is darkest before dawn, the same was Jesus’ death before He came back to life. Just as the sun has a profoundly positive affect on our morning, Jesus’ resurrection has a remarkable impact on our christian beliefs, as we finally have hope for a new life, one without the darkness or pain of loss.

Today, we need to be mindful of and humbled by Jesus’ sacrifice for us, but remember that His death was NOT in vain – it had a purpose.

Tomorrow the sun will rise, just as God’s SON rose 2,000 years ago!
So be ready to rejoice at dawn for we have HOPE for a new day, a new life. Why? Jesus is ALIVE and has risen from the dead!!

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
John 8:12

Food for thought:
“Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.”
Micah 7:8

Photo by: Elliott Engelmann – Tanzanian Mountain Morning

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