Jesus pulls an all nighter
The early morning hours of Friday night go from somber to bleak to dark.
Jesus starts the night praying for his disciples. Then he’s arrested, questioned by the high priests, and then tortured and ridiculed by the other religious leaders.
Meanwhile one of his disciples (Peter) denies he even knows him three times. And his other disciple (Judas) commits suicide in remorse for what’ he’s done. There’s no pause to allow Jesus to grieve.
He’s then taken to the Roman leaders Pilate and Herod for more questioning and more torture at the hands of the Roman army.
To avoid a revolt by the crowds Pilate consents to Jesus’ death.
Jesus is forced to carry his cross to the location where he’ll be nailed to it.
Jesus hangs on the cross for a total of 6 hours! (9am-3pm)
Miracles where no one was looking
Yet, when everyone’s attention was on the gory spectacle–the train wreck of divine proportions–there were miracles happening.
‘And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” ‘ (Matthew 27:51-54)
Everyone now had access to God’s holiness not just the select few! The earth trembled and the graves of the saints released their dead! And a Gentile Roman soldier declared the divinity of Christ!
In the midst of tragedy our tendency is to focus on the negative. But sometimes, God is up to something much more profound in the places we aren’t looking.