The dark night

I’ve been away on holiday.  Camping out and swimming in hot water pools.  Came back very happy and tired.  After a holiday, you sometimes need a holiday.  During one of the nights, a severe thunderstorm broke loose.  Thunder and lighting.  One of our ladyfriends in the tent next to us, send us a sms.  It said:  “I am afraid.”

Life is strange indeed.  One moment we are free and enjoy every moment, and then sometimes, in the blink of an eye, everything changes.  Life becomes dark and terrifying.  There is now way out.  No help.  No hope.  Alone.  We cry to God for help.  But there is no answer. 

 Did life happen to Jesus? 

A few years ago I discovered the following out of a book from Hans Kung.  The title is “On being a Christian“.  It was then, that I realised that I do not know my Saviour.  Wrapped up in my own little world, I did not “see“.  He actually experienced life!!  He was not protected against life.  He lived a life for all to see and when it came to loneliness, humiliation and suffering, His life became a spectacle.  I can see the newspapers, magazines and television, shouting to the world, that “the Prophet has been proven wrong”, the day after His crucifixion. 

Perhaps this is what Jesus felt…

Jesus’ unresisting suffering and helpless death, accursed and dishonored, for his enemies and even his friends, was the unmistakeable sign that he was finished and had nothing to do with the true God. His death on the cross was the fulfillment of the curse of the law. ‘Anyone hanged on a tree is cursed by God.’ He was wrong wholly and entirely: in his message, his behavior, his whole being. His claim is now refuted, his authority gone, his way shown to be false. . . . The heretical teacher is condemned, the false prophet disowned, the seducer of the people unmasked, the blasphemer rejected. The law had triumphed over this ‘gospel.’
Jesus found himself left alone, not only by his people, but by the One to whom he had constantly appealed as no one did before him. Left absolutely alone. We do not know what Jesus thought and felt as he was dying. But it was obvious to the whole world that he had proclaimed the early advent of God in his kingdom and this God did not come. A God who was man’s friend, knowing all his needs, close to him, but this God was absent. A Father whose goodness knew no bounds, providing for the slightest things and the humblest people, gracious and at the same time mighty; but this Father gave no sign, produced no miracles.
His Father indeed, to whom he had spoken with a familiarity closer than anyone else had ever known, with whom he had lived and worked in a unity beyond the ordinary, whose true will he had learned with immediate certainty and in the light of which he had dared to assure individuals of the forgiveness of their sins; this Father of his did not say a single word. Jesus, God’s witness, was left in the lurch by the God to whom he had witnessed. The mockery at the foot of the cross underlined vividly this wordless, helpless, miracle-less and even God-less death.
The unique communion with God which he had seemed to enjoy only makes his forsakenness more unique. This God and Father with whom he had identified himself to the very end did not at the end identify himself with the sufferer. And so everything seemed as if it had never been: in vain. He who had announced the closeness and advent of God his Father publicly before the whole world died utterly forsaken by God and was thus publicly demonstrated as godless before the whole world: someone judged by God himself, disposed of once and for all.

And since the cause for which he had lived and fought was so closely linked to his person, so that cause fell with his person. There was no cause independent of his person. How could anyone have believed his word after he had been silenced and died in this outrageous fashion? It is a death not simply accepted in patience but endured screaming to God.”

Brennan Manning in his book “Signature of Jesus” said the following: 

The Cross is both the symbol of our salvation and the pattern of our lives. Everything that happened to Christ in some way happens to us. When darkness envelops us and we are deaf to everything except the shriek of our own pain, it helps to know that the Father is tracing in us the image of his Son, that the signature of Jesus is being stamped on our souls.

I find it very comforting that we have a Saviour who walked the walk of life.  We can never accuse Him that He does not understand or that He does not care.  When life happens, we are not alone.


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