Well, well, well.
As my son used to say, “lookee here, lookee here!”
A pretty cool reminder for those who think God has somehow checked out or relinquished the reins to all the crazies out there:
Psalms 74:16 –
“Yours is the day…
(Wait for it)
(Wait for it)
Yours also the night…”
Sorry, Batman. My God owns the night, not you, all do respect.
Night, by Elie Wiesel, is in my personal Top 25 of books that have most shaped me through my life. Elie, who survived both Auschwitz and Buchenwald during his teen years, having endured countless sadisms at the hands of Hitler’s Reich, wrote:
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed….Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.”
It’s no wonder such a Jewish pogrom would lead many to question the Presence of God among His chosen people. On one occasion, men were hung in public view and remained so while their fellow captives were ordered to file past and allow their deaths to effectually haunt them.
Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out, swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing…And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes.
And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still red, his eyes not yet extinguished.
Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
“For God’s sake, where is God?”
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
“Where He is? This is where–hanging here from this gallows…”
That night, the soup tasted of corpses.
There’s a line in the Gospels that could leave one as though stranded on a scary stretch of road in the most notoriously bad part of town in the middle of the night, exposed and alone, if not for the declaration which follows it.
John 13:30 ends the pre-narrative of Judas’ satanic role in the betrayal of Messiah Jesus with the refrain: “And it was night.”
That’s some chilling stuff, John.
A good story would leave go of a chapter with those four words just hanging there, suspended, leaving the reader with no choice but to turn the leaf in the book with haste.
If there were such a fresh new page, the (thankful) reader would find these opening words:
“Now the Son of Man is glorified.”
(Sigh of relief)
Read that again.
You catch it?
Now. I. Am. Glorified.
Smack in the dark heart of Witching Hour.
In one breath it’s as bad as it can get: an icy breeze hails from hades, the devil’s maw is twisted into a knowing grin, the disciples shiver, festivity is stilled…but in the next quick heartbeat we find God’s still got this. His agenda is not only unthwarted, it’s been made possible.
Oh, and it’s just getting good! Exactly one chapter (to the verse) later, THIS from the Son of Man:
The prince over this world is coming. HE HAS NO HOLD OVER ME.”
– John 14:30
I realize the Cross wasn’t a formality. Indeed, Jesus went through hell on His way to submitting to it in the Garden the night before, but all through the ordeal this resounding truth prevails from moment one:
No man, no devil, no ideology takes My life from Me. I lay it down all by Myself.”
Then He got some help on Resurrection Morning from the Other Two in the Godhead to eclipse eternal night. For good. Talk about your book with a major twist at the end!
Are you in a night?
Here’s what you should recite to your head and heart:
- God’s got you. He’s as committed to you as He is the Son of Man.
- He will splash all His Light and Glory across your night. Get ready.
- There’s not a man or devil that will get in His way of redeeming you fully and finally.
- Your story ends with resurrection, guaranteed. Tonight is Gethsemane and Golgotha, yes, but Sunday’ll be epic.
I mean it.