I love that we serve a God of details. In the most unassuming statements, we find purpose and truth. Today, as we begin another passage where Jesus speaks, I’m starting with a sentence that sets the stage for what’s to come.
Why start with this one verse? Because it shows us not just the time of day, when Jesus would continue speaking with his disciples, but it also shows us the reality of where we stand in the story of Jesus. The darkest time had come.
Jesus was spending his final Passover meal with those he loved the most. He showed them the extent of that love by washing their feet. Yes, the Son of Man, God in the flesh, the Alpha and Omega, lowered himself to the place of a servant in order to demonstrate how those who followed him should also serve others.
However, there was one among them who would betray that love, and Jesus knew that too. He actually brought it to their attention, which sent a ripple of concern throughout the twelve. Even with his obvious action of giving Judas a piece of bread, the others failed to get it.
As the night great darker, the darkness had already entered Judas. Jesus recognized it and told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”* The evidence of Judas’ ultimate surrender to betrayal is seen in the fact that he didn’t hesitate and left.
That’s when John records the fact that it was night.
Darkness had not only entered Judas but would overshadow the next three days.
- The disciples would be rebuked for failing to stay awake in the garden while Jesus prayed.
- Jesus would be arrested, because of Judas’ betrayal.
- Peter would deny Christ three times.
- Jesus would be struck in the face by a religious official.
- The Jewish officials would hand one of their own over to the Romans for execution.
- Jesus would be questioned by Pilate and humiliated before the crowd.
- Jesus would be flogged, forced to wear a crown of thorns, mocked and struck in the face.
- A mob would shout for his death.
- Jesus would be crucified.
- He would die.
- The disciples would go into hiding.
What amazes me about this is that Jesus knew it was all coming. There was no surprise, because this was the purpose for which he had come. Knowing that the night was upon them, Jesus still chose to speak words of comfort and hope to his disciples.
He ministered to them until the last moment of his life.
We’re going to look at some of these words in the weeks to come, because we need to hear them too. Jesus meant us to.
There is a time of darkness coming our way. As the day of his coming nears, things will become progressively worse for those who understand the times. As a follower of Christ, I don’t dread the darkness, because of the light that dwells in me, but I do need to be leaning in to him and his Word when the days get tough.
There is no one who can encourage and strengthen us like Jesus. He’s been through hell and back for us, so that we don’t have to. Yes, we will have trials and tribulations in this world, but they are nothing in comparison to what he went through or to the glory that is to come.
How can you get through night? When darkness comes your way, just turn on the light of Christ.
Grace and Peace