Maundy Thursday – March 24th, 2016
Praying for Patience
Father, seldom are the times when darkness seems too dark. As I fall down on my knees it is so dark I feel as if I am almost blind. Where is the light O God? Where is the glimmer of hope and the glow of Your saving grace? Am I supposed to hide as well? My conscience is not clear… my hands are not clean. There is evil in this darkness and I can feel its terrible presence. I fear that I too, would have done the same as Judas, Peter, and the rest—or even worse. Lord, this one thing I do know; I am truly sorry, please forgive me! Father God, I know You are here. I know my Savior Jesus is here in this darkness with me, somewhere in the shadows doing what He had to do, so that I might live in the light. You are my true Light O Lord , so who do I have to be afraid of? I will wait here patiently for the Light to come. I will wait here patiently for the Light to call me out of this darkness. I will wait here for the Light that I know is coming. I will trust in You to direct my feet and Light my path. This darkness will not overtake me. Jesus sweet Lamb of God, You are the Light of the World… Amen
There is both darkness and evil in our world – both are very real. For Jesus, it was not just irony or chance that would bring about the events that would take place on this dark and shadowed Passover night – it was the revelation of a new covenant and a new freedom, for a new people. Jesus was the new way. He was now the Light of the world – the city set on a hill. Many evil conspirators and greedy accomplices would play key roles in changing the course of history and the face of eternity on this Passover night. Even knowing that more darkness and evil were to come, Jesus obediently walked on into the shadowed night. First, there was the final Passover meal with His closest friends and His beloved disciples. Secondly, during the meal Jesus reveals to them that He is aware of the desertion, denial, and betrayal that will take place that night from among them. After supper there is a late night visit to the Garden of Gethsemane for prayer, where the struggle of Jesus between His spirit and flesh turns into a brutally intense battle of human and divine will. The honesty and agony of the garden struggle is both staggering and disturbing. And finally, from out of the shadows would come the predicted betrayal of Judas, with his money, fellow-conspirators, and his kiss of death to the cheek of Jesus. Sensing that the final part of His journey has come and that His time of suffering has begun, Jesus seems to almost willingly surrender to the evil-plot of His enemies.
O’ Dark Night! The sinister and shadowed night was still young—evil had just begun its contemptful work, and more darkness would soon come. On this ominous Passover, there truly was the smell of innocent blood in the air —the Lamb of God, appeared to be caught in Satan’s snare – O’ Dark Night!
The High Priest, now eagerly played the role of a puppet, as he danced to Satan’s diabolical tune. Quickly he called together a court of the corrupt and religious against Jesus. There they orchestrated a barrage of wild and unfounded accusations; that included a premeditated package of lies, and physical hostility against Jesus. Caiaphas presented phony charges of blasphemy validated by the testimony of several pre scripted false witnesses. And finally, Caiaphas incited the erratic and volatile mob by crying out in a loud voice and ripping his clothes in front of Jesus, proclaiming Him to be a blasphemer of “the law”, a fraud, and an imposter. Chaos ensued, Jesus was immediately blind-folded, and in the shadows of their darkened hearts they slapped Jesus in the head, and spit in His face. To the enemies of Jesus, it seemed on the surface that in the shelter these evil shadows things were going just as they had planned. As the night surged ahead into the early hours of the morning (before the sun had come up), one could barely hear a closing exchange of just a few simple words between Jesus and His accusers. “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is as you say.” Yes, this truly was a dark and evil night!
Questions to Consider
- Have you ever been falsely accused of something you did not do?
- If so, how did you respond?
- In what context is it wrong to defend ourselves in the face of unjust accusations?
A Word of Wisdom
“Prayer from within cost nothing more but the effort to sink down in silence into the depths of one’s heart and call more and more upon the radiant name of Jesus. Everyone who does that feels at once the inward light! He even catches sight in this light a revelation of the Kingdom of God.” The Way of a Pilgrim