Once back-lit by the sharp noon-day sun the instrument, of both death and salvation, riding the slope of Calvary no longer casting a harsh shadow mark at its foot. Now, and for the last three hours, day is darker than the deepest midnight, darker than death itself. The taunts and jeers are long gone. Jesus, hanging there enveloped by an acrid odor, coughs a splintered cry that rends the blackness, reaching heaven itself. And then…
My savior died.
The ground has finally stopped its pitching and rolling. The screams and groans of people have quieted, and have turned into smothered gasps of shock, and dazed confusion. Strange and frightening sights were revealed to all who had fallen to their knees, or were standing frozen there in that place of public ending, of common execution.
The ones running into the city saw the phenomenon of graves opening and men walking in their grave-clothes along the way. Hearts quaked, beating with almost audible thuds against the ribs cages of countless onlookers. The world literally turned inside-out.
What just happened here? The news quickly spread that in the near-by place of worship, the ancient curtain was torn from top to bottom. What sacrilege; were the gods of the universe angry this day, the day freedom was born and bondage died?
My savior died?
Many people cower and hunker down at the foot of the small rise, for the stony path has erupted. Soldiers stumble and fall with eyes wide and lips rambling incoherently as they make their way to safety. “Surely He was… surely He was…”!
In those moments of chaos, the women, His friends, huddled on their knees at a distance; the sustenance and light of their lives was suddenly gone, without a last hug or the lament of parting. Their purpose was over; it seeped away, as surely as the blood and water that ran down His side to puddle at His feet on the ground. It was over; despair was in the air, and they drank it in with each painful breath.
Ah, if only they, the ones remaining, could see with eyes of faith just three days ahead. Relief, praise, and joy will be so sweet, and remembered words will take on flesh and impart new understanding. Now, God was holding heaven’s breath.
This was the night of the soul, but joy was coming with the new morn. The human mind can not, in its limited imagination, see with the eyes of God; nor can we comprehend what “true love” in His reality demands. The ransom was fully and finally paid.
How could the air stir so sweetly? How dare the day smell so pungently of fresh broken earth, now exposed to the arid air? The anemones are blushing wildly with their faint, lush fragrances and the birds are singing melodies, no more clattering with startled croaks of panic. It is a beautiful, calm aftermath ~ how cruel.
On this day, because of my sin and your sin, our Savior willingly faced degradation, grief, and pain so indescribable, that our finite minds are protected from the knowledge of it. The thing that we can begin to comprehend, but that just partly, is the incredible, amazing, love He has for us. We can only appreciate, with human wisdom, His honor, respect, and holy devotion for the Father, who sent Him to the depths to spare us eternal death.
My Savior died!
The gods of the universe were overcome that day, it was pure victory. The Only God, the Triune God of eternity, wrapped his arms around the world and held us near. “Because He so loved….” The One who has the power of resurrection in His touch, who loves so tenderly, gave His son in a personal way for you and me.
Hearts are breaking. Time is slowly dragging, one day, two, thr…, an excitement, a silent but intense joy beyond all understanding fills the air, and morning is almost here.
The sun is rising, it is glorious.
The Son has risen and He is Glory.
…Forever He lives Forever…
Hallelujah! He lives! He reigns! He saves!
Events as recorded in Holy Scripture
By~ Matthew in chapter 27