Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Luke 22: The Power Of Darkness

Every so often, the world starts doubting the existence of evil.  It's as if we conclude that the good/evil dichotomy is merely a matter of perspective or taste and only for the simple-minded to believe.  Then a genocide happens, or a terrorist attack, or the use of chemical weapons, or a school shooting, and we see evil up close and personal.  We have to come to believe in it all over again.  Until the memory fades once more...

In Luke 22:53, Jesus renders a verdict on all the sinister events that are swirling around Him: "This is your hour, and the power of darkness!"  

What darkness Jesus had to endure that night in order to defeat the darkness within us!  What kinds of evil things are confronting Jesus during His last hours?  

  • He is the subject of a conspiracy of priests and religious leaders, the same ones who should be embracing His gospel! 
  • He is betrayed by one of His closest associates, the treasurer among His band of twelve disciples, as Judas has Satan enter Him and sells Jesus out for money. 
  • Speaking of Satan, the devil is also bent on sifting the rest of the disciples like wheat - especially their leader, Simon Peter!  And fall into denial of Jesus he will, even before the night is over. 
  • Other disciples mistake Jesus' message as a summons to violence, and lash out with their swords.  Jesus interrupts the melee to heal the ear of His enemy. 
  • In the face of all this evil, Jesus Himself is in turmoil.  His anguish is not even placated by prayer; instead He begins to sweat blood. 
  • The disciples aren't too worried about their Master, however - they're too busy sleeping!
It's moments like this that I remember the words of another Gospel we read earlier this year: "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it!"  But, oh, did it try!  That's the nature of evil, and the power of darkness!

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