So after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.–John 13:30
Every time I read the phrase, “and it was night,” my skin tingles. It is ominous. It conveys the sense that there is no turning back. It is no mere proclamation of the setting sun, but it heralded the eve of the darkest day in history. Good Friday.
This band of brothers, so closely tied together, was fracturing. Judas had left. Jesus was troubled. The others were confused and fearful, trying to recall their interactions with Judas, hunting for clues. They were trying to remember everything Jesus had said, again hoping for hints.
Night is confusion. Night is darkness. Night is fear. In the opening paragraphs of this epistle, John identified Jesus as the light of the world. Light is hope; darkness is hopeless.
You may know the night too. When the doctor calls you personally and says, “It’s cancer,” it’s night. When your child, whom you have poured your heart and soul and guts into, whom you have prayed for and protected, has decided that Jesus isn’t really her thing, it’s night. When you’ve saved your money, little by little, trying to be a good steward, and you get a call from the IRS saying that they want to go over your most recent tax returns, it’s night.
Darkness comes to everyone. Life is not always how we want it to be. But even in our darkest nights, Jesus is still light.
Jesus, I cannot imagine what you were feeling that night. Were you afraid? Were you angry? Regardless, you did not leave your friends. Help me to remember that even in the darkest times, you are light. Amen.