And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. –Mark 15:24-27 (KJV)
“Oh, that was a dark day in my life.” I wonder how many times I have thought or said those words. I said this about the day my faithful dog, Jenny, died. I recall the day the doctors confirmed my wife’s cancer diagnosis as a dark and terrible day. I remember the day I stood at a graveside attempting to bring at least some solace to a young couple whose infant child had died. These were dark and horrible days – each one of them. In each situation we face which has the potential to bring us to our knees in grief, we have a sacred option; look to the Lord Jesus in full and unquestioning faith. Through the blurred vision of our tears we will see the blessed hand of the Risen Lord reaching out to us with the divine words of comfort and hope, “Fear not; I am with you always.”
I have for years tried to imagine the pain, loss, grief, anger, and sorrow Jesus’ followers felt as they stood helplessly by and watched as He was crucified. Adding insult to injury, the battle-scarred and seasoned Roman soldiers callously gambled for His clothes as the religious leaders mocked Him saying, “Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days; Save thyself, and come down from the cross. He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe” (Mark 15:29-32). The pain of those words served only to make a horribly dark day even darker. Through it all the Lord Jesus hung upon the cross as His blood was shed for the sins of the world.
I am not telling you anything you do not already know when I say the world is often a sorrowful and difficult place in which to live. Many days I find myself longing for the blessed and brighter day which the Lord has promised will come. Until then we are called to trust the Lord in faith, look to Him in belief, and let the Holy Spirit empower us to rise above our fears and forebodings to the higher ground of spiritual victory. The Lord will bring you through whatever dark day you are having. Sadly, there are probably more on the way. However, through Jesus Christ and the power of the resurrection we have confidence we will overcome.
Do not despair and do not give up. The joy of resurrection is coming!