“But this is your hour–when darkness reigns,” said Jesus to the arresting mob in the Gethsemane Garden. It was a moment of surrounding darkness for the man who was called, “the rising sun from heaven”. Jesus knew that his death was imminent. He knew his betrayer was coming, the one who would strike with a kiss in the waging battle of darkness and light. The knowledge of the future events was beyond what even he, the God-Man, could handle. The great shepard was in the darkest valley to protect his sheep, and he cried out to his heavenly Father, pouring out his anguish from the weight of the darkness. The LORD was with him and comforted him, but the night was dark
The arresting mob arrived brandishing their swords and clubs. They were ready for battle with their armor of darkness. Jesus stepped up to the front lines, he did not have physical weapons, gear or armor, but he was ready for battle. His battle tactics were to be carried out with love and light. The type of love that would heal the cut off ear of his attacker. The type of light that would cause the mob to draw back and fall to the ground when Jesus spoke. A love beyond comprehension filling the hearts of sinful humanity. A light so glorious as to be the saving presence of God in a fallen world.
Jesus battled the darkness of the night, and then he brought about a radiant victorious morning. Jesus is the bright morning star, the rising sun, the true light who brings new hope, renewal and forgiveness in his present kingdom and the kingdom to come.
The disciples of Jesus were also surrounded by darkness that night, and Jesus instructed them to wake up from their sleep, to seek God and to follow his example of love and righteousness. Christians are still surrounded by darkness in this world, so we must awake from slumber, pray, love and live right because the night is nearly over; the day is almost here. The day when Jesus will gather his people and complete his saving work. He will heal and purify his people, exalting them to his everlasting kingdom.
We are to anticipate the coming day of our Lord, to sing our morning song about the sun of righteousness. As Christians, we are on the front lines at the end of a long night of darkness. We stand not with weapons or gear of this world, but with the armor of love and light from our heavenly king. Therefore, let us love others with a pure heart and shine the light of salvation to a dark world.