January 23, 2018
READ: Matthew 27:45-56
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land (v.45).
My best friend from university, now a missionary in France, stopped to see me during one of her furloughs. I remember her telling me that she had to leave by 4:00 p.m. As she prepared to depart, the wind started to pick up. Menacing clouds rolled in. She ran to her car, and we quickly waved our goodbyes. About five minutes later, the winds roared to life and shortly after, it grew dark as night. Concern for my friend’s safety gripped me as I surveyed the storm. I’d never seen anything like it—nearly pitch black during the daytime. Fortunately, my friend made it home safe.
That darkness I experienced that day reminds me of the shadow that fell over the earth as Jesus died (Matthew 27:45). Some scholars say the blackout occurred by means of a solar eclipse. Others maintain it really wasn’t dark when Jesus died but that the darkness was a metaphor for what was happening. Still others think that the darkness during the day Jesus died couldn’t have occurred. And, to be honest, up until the moment when I endured palpable darkness on what had been a sunny summer’s day, I couldn’t grasp the reality of Matthew 27:45.
That experience, coupled with the details of the darkness surrounding Jesus’ death on the cross, reminded me to find hope in God’s power. For there was not only darkness and an earthquake on the earth when Christ was on the cross, but signs of new life—the tearing of the curtain in the temple, and, after He drew His last breath, even resurrection of the dead (vv.51-52).
God is all-powerful over all He’s made. When we experience the darkness of a storm, the encouraging sign of a rainbow or other displays of His creative work, may we pause to trust and worship Him!
365-day plan: Genesis 40:1-23
Read Exodus 16:1-31. Do you believe such things still happen? Why or why not?
How does it encourage you to know that God still interacts with the natural world? How have you experienced His transforming power in your life?