I find myself ruminating on the darkest day in Earth’s existence—the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ—on a hill near Jerusalem. The fateful day when Jesus was heard to utter the words: It is Finished!
“Then the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, the earth shook, and the rocks rent. Great darkness was upon the face of the Earth. The last hopes of the disciples seemed swept away as Jesus died. Many of His followers witnessed the scene of His sufferings and death, and their cup of sorrow was full.*
“The disciples. . . were afraid the Jews would seek to destroy them also. They felt assured that such hatred as had been manifested against the Son of God would not end with Him.”**
I can imagine the disciples shaken to their core. Fear, disappointment, and grief battled to crush each of them. However, their love for Jesus led them to seek a way for an honored burial. In private, Joseph of Arimathea—a wealthy councilor and a follower of Christ—boldly begged Pilate for the body of Jesus. Pilate granted the request.
I can imagine the crippling emotional weight the disciples labored through, taking the lifeless body down from the cross. What a painful experience it must have been to wrap the body in fine linen—laying the body to rest. Oh, the deep love and devotion to Jesus expressed in the placing of a stone of great weight before the door. No grave robbers were going to desecrate their Jesus.
“It is finished!” Christ’s final words before death. At that moment, the disciples didn’t fully grasp the significance of His words. “They expected that Jesus would reign a temporal Prince but their hopes died with him.”***
How dark the next hours must have been for the followers of Jesus. Little did they understand the jubilation that awaited them.
In short order, Jesus Christ arose from His tomb, ascended to his Father, and brought new power with Him to His disciples. Now, the Light of the World illuminates a pathway for preaching the Gospel of a Risen Savior. Sharing the promise of a certain return of Jesus Christ in the skies. Jesus, triumphant in securing Salvation for humankind.
Even so, Lord Jesus come! — FM
*, **, *** — Excerpts from The Acts of the Apostles, E. G. White.