A few days ago we heard of Judas betraying Jesus. John’s gospel tell us when that happened “Night had fallen” Another translation of that says “Judas went out into the darkness of the night.”
Of course, when a friend betrays another there is darkness. John was not just telling us the time of day when he wrote “Night had fallen.” The betrayal of Jesus by Judas marked a deeper darkness, a darkness that was to come to an end on this holy night of Easter when Jesus rose from the dead, stood there and said “Do not be afraid.”
In the last few months we have lived in a world of darkness, and in some places of deep despair. COVID-19 has brought darkness into our world, there has been the darkness of thousands and a sense of despair and hopelessness.
Everyone has been affected. While here in New Zealand there have thankfully been very few deaths, there have already been job losses, businesses closing, people’s livelihoods put at risk, people finding it difficult to escape from fear and fright, some dealing with anger and confusion and wondering how they will manage financially. Living in the silence and darkness of Lockdown, living with anxiety and uncertainty – all of these things bring stress and darkness. It is not easy.
On Holy Thursday we began to see a slither of hope and light, Jesus gave us an example of service and showed us that the way we serve and take care of others that brings light into our world. We have been enlightened by stories of incredible thoughtfulness and service over the last couple of weeks. They have brought light into our lives.
The struggle between darkness and light is age-old. It has always been part of the human story.
On Good Friday we heard of the death of Jesus and the fact that “Darkness covered the whole earth.” Of course there was a sense of darkness and despair, a good man had been put to death, it seemed that there was no hope. Darkness continued to reign and the body of Jesus was placed in a tomb.
The Gospel tells us that the angel said “if you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified, he is not here, for he has risen as he said he would…”
That is the promise of God. He will not leave us in darkness, he will be always with us. Remember this – GOD ALWAYS KEEPS THE PROMISES MADE TO US. Jesus is the LIGHT of our world.
When the women do meet Jesus, he says “Greetings, do not be afraid!”
Jesus IS the light of our world, darkness will be overcome. We do not know what life will be like after COVID-19. Mary and the disciples did not know what would happen in the darkness of Jesus death, but here was new life. There will be new life for us after COVID-19. 19
He stood among them and said “Do not be afraid!” He says the same to us “Do not be afraid.”