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. John was not merely writing about the setting sun; he was telling his readers that it was 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 as they recalled their interactions with Judas, hunting for clues. They were replaying everything Jesus had said to them, 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 is night. When your child, whom you have poured your heart and soul and guts into, has decided that Jesus isn’t her thing, it’s night. When you have gradually saved your money, 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.