Jesus said He came to bring light and life! What a promise for our culture of death and darkness!
Today is both Passover and Good Friday. What a strange and also wonderful mix! The Passover Savior is the same Messiah Who hung on a rough wooden cross outside Jerusalem over 2000 years ago.
I have been deeply blessed to walk in the Garden of Gethsemane, to traverse the stones in the Via Dolorosa, to stand in the trade "path" near a busy bus station and gaze at the probable location of the crucifixion at the hill Golgotha (which truly does have the shape of a skull). I have also visited the Garden Tomb but that will have to wait.
While we were in Jerusalem we visited the Children's Museum of the Holocaust. What an incredible experience especially in the land of Judaism, the land of promise, the state of Israel! As we entered the museum we could hear a single voice reading names - one after another - hundreds and thousands of names of Jewish children killed in the Holocaust. Coming from the bright sun outside, it took a moment for our eyes to adjust to the darkness - total darkness except for the light of one candle. In the darkness we were instructed to walk and hold onto the rail. The further we walked into the darkness to the sound of all those names, the one candle became two and four and eight and twenty and a hundred and more. The names kept coming. It was heart-rending, touching and unforgettable!
As I reflect I am awed with the memory of the candle that grew and multiplied. The technical aspect of how that happened is with many mirrors strategically placed as the spiral walkway wound through the room. The connection with the One Who declared Himself to be the Light of the World is unmistakable! Isn't the design of the Children's Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem a parable of just what Jesus meant when He said that WE also are the light of the world?! We take our light from Him and as we reflect His light our light also shines. With the mirrors in the museum there is more and more light in the room! But all that light is really only a reflection of the one true light!
Whether we celebrate Passover or Easter's Good Friday today, there is a sense in which we celebrate death. Passover is celebrating that the death angel passed over the homes of those covered by the blood on the doors of their homes! Good Friday celebrates the day Jesus laid His life down to push back darkness for all time! He endured the most intense darkness when He was even rejected by His Father. Think of it! The Light of the World was in utter darkness in order that we who trust Him can live in light and have life forever!
In my musing and pondering today I have also been thinking about the church - not the buildings and the people connected to those buildings - but rather that "invisible" Body of believers around the world that live and breathe to reflect the Light of the World to a dark, dying world of men who don't even know that they are walking in the darkness of death. How does the church show light that pushes back darkness? How does the church reach out with the words of Life?
We shine light to push back the darkness as we reach out to include ALL in our hearts, our homes and our individual churches! THAT's what being light is all about!
How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure!
How great the pain of searing loss! The Father turns His face away!
As wounds which mar the Chosen One, bring many sons to glory!
Behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers!
It was my sin that left Him there until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life I know that it is finished!
I will not boast in anything - no gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ - His death and resurrection!
Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart - His wounds have paid my ransom. --Stuart Townend