In the Dark with Jesus
I appreciate the flow of the “Christian year” which reminds us of the redemptive work of Christ from Christmas (incarnation), through Good Friday (atonement), Easter (resurrection), Ascension, and concluding with Pentecost (gift of the Spirit). During Holy Week (which begins with Palm Sunday) I was thinking about one of the comforts that comes to us from his sufferings which is put so powerfully in the hymn, Throned Upon the Awful Tree:
Throned upon the awful tree,
King of grief, I watch with thee,
darkness veils thine anguished face:
none its lines of woes can trace:
none can tell what pangs unknown
hold thee silent and alone.
Silent through those three dread hours,
wrestling with the evil pow’rs,
left alone with human sin,
gloom around thee and within,
till th’ appointed time is nigh,
till the Lamb of God may die.
Hark, that cry that peals aloud
upward through the whelming cloud!
thou, the Father’s only Son,
thou his own Anointed One,
thou dost ask him – can it be?-
“Why hast thou forsaken me?
Lord, should fear and anguish roll
darkly o’er my sinful soul,
thou, who once was thus bereft
that thine own might ne’er be left,
teach me by that bitter cry
in the gloom to know thee nigh.
May God help us to know that no matter how deep the darkness of our souls may be, the darkness of Jesus’ soul was deeper still. And may he grant us the comfort of knowing that there is no darkness of our souls that Jesus has not known. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15a), for “in the days of his flesh Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to him who was able to save him from death” (Hebrews 5: 7).