Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Good Friday, March 25 Read John 14

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27

Light in the Darkness

For the apostles, the day we now call Good Friday must have seemed like the darkest day in history.

The man they followed and called the Messiah was hanging from a cross, crucified by the Romans and heckled by jeering crowds. The bad guys, it appeared, had won. At that moment, though it was midday, the apostles must have felt enveloped by darkness, uncertain of what was next. Peter had such a lapse of faith from fear that he denied Jesus three times, just as had been predicted. Who could have hope at such a moment?

Just the night before, they had been given reasons for hope. As they gathered in a private room to share a meal, hadn’t Jesus tried to prepare them for what was coming? Had he not also tried to encourage them, telling them that he was not leaving them empty-handed? He promised to leave them not with just the everyday peace of mind that we try to give each other, but that of the Holy Spirit, that little spark of spirit that keeps our faith aloft. “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid,” he said.

Of course, the disciples were only human – who could blame them if they had lost all hope? It is easy to see why they might have thought Jesus’s words were empty. However, like so much our Savior told them, it was the truth. As another passage in the Bible says, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The evil of that day, the incredible pain suffered by Jesus, could not extinguish the Light. The Light would continue to shine far beyond that dark day.

Those words Jesus spoke to his disciples should lift us up today! We all have days that put us in a dark place. Something goes wrong at work. A teacher chides about grades. A friend does something hurtful. There’s discord at home. And trouble in our nation and internationally make us wonder what the world is coming to.

But then we remember what Jesus said. He did not leave us to fend for ourselves. The peace he left for the apostles he left for us, too. So even in our darkest moments, the peace Christ left with us can give us hope. The Light can never be extinguished. On this day and every day, let it shine within us, too.

Ken Hobart

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