May 7, 2016
I love the story of the blind man in the Bible who was healed on the Sabbath by Jesus. I recently had the thought that our Sundays are somewhat like the Lord’s. It is a day set apart to worship but can become quite busy. The Lord made it clear that it is to be a day of rest, but we are to serve the Lord especially on Sundays. We need to learn to rest in the Lord. We have trouble quieting our spirits; therefore, we feel Sunday is perhaps not restful. Doing the Lord’s work should refresh and energize us! After the Lord healed someone, or many, He no doubt had peace and rest with His heavenly Father.
Prior to his healing, the blind man lived in a dark world, actually. To the sighted, blindness is unimaginable and scary. Fanny Crosby, the famous song writer of over 8,000 hymns, was thankful for her blindness. She said it kept her focused on what the Lord had for her to do. Her hymns are full of allusions to seeing and touching. She would see the Lord face to face – her first sighting! She’s been seeing heaven for many years now. The darkness of her earthly life is but a fading memory. Maybe she is still writing hymns in heaven! Imagine her sighted descriptions of heaven. I can just imagine her telling the angels to fetch her some more paper.
The darkest darkness was what Jesus experienced on the cross of Calvary. Matthew 27:45-46, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The Bible does not explain the darkness, but there are several reasons for that darkness in my mind. I believe in those concentrated three hours, the ugliness of the sins of the world from the beginning of time until the end of time was so vile, it could not have and should not have been viewed by anyone. Just as man cannot look on the glory of God in full view, neither could man view the suffering Savior in full view. I also believe it was so dark because after those three excruciating hours, Jesus felt deserted from God the Father. There are not words to describe that separation except total darkness.
Jesus had spent a dark night in prayer the night before the crucifixion – alone. The anticipation of the cross brought darkness to His spirit. God the Father was with Him, as He always is, but no man prayed with Him in His hour of desperation.
But that is not the end of this story. The crucifixion ended. Jesus gave up the ghost. He was buried and arose again. From the darkness of a borrowed tomb, He became the light of the world. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. Giving the Lord a human emotion, I can just imagine the Lord sitting down, finally, next to God the Father with a great sigh of relief – back where He belongs. It was finished!
Upon being questioned by the hypocrites who were trying to trap the Lord for something, anything, the blind man finally responded, (imagine a little exasperation) “Look, ‘one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.’” You couldn’t really argue with that. The world is in darkness, but there is one who can rid us of our blindness, Jesus Christ! “The light of the world is Jesus.”
We go through dark times in our lives. Everyone’s trials are different, and yet we share many of the same experiences. Jesus had to go to the cross, but that was a long time ago. Philippians 2:8-10 says, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” Jesus went through the darkest darkness to be exalted to the highest height. Romans 8:17-18, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Life is tough, no doubt. As I heard one preacher say, “No one gets out of here alive!” Fear not, sister, Jesus will take the darkness away, and lead us into the land of endless light. We have hope! We have Jesus!