“Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, ‘…This is your hour – when darkness reigns’”.
Lk 22:52, 53 NIV
Whilst the disciples were still sleeping the enemies of Jesus came to arrest him. It is ironic that God’s Son should be sought for capture by the priests (who should have been men of God), by the temple guard (who should have been protecting those busy with the work of God), and the elders (who were the leaders of the people of God).
Throughout the Bible there is a background thread that recurs – that of conflict. It is there in the garden of Eden when the snake opposes God. There were those wanting to worship idols and lead the Israelites astray. There are the foreign armies fighting against the people of God, the demons that brought ill-health whom Jesus had to contend with, and the enemies of Christ as well as those who persecuted the church. It is seen symbolically in the contest between light and darkness, truth and falsehood, faith and unbelief, life and death. And Jesus sees those who come to arrest him as being part of the hour “when darkness reigns”. The conflict is ongoing, from start to finish. It is present all the time even when the light shines “and the darkness does not overcome it”.
The contest between good and evil, light and darkness is still with us today. Darkness gains when war breaks out, when evil runs rampant, when the lamp of faith burns low, and when “the godless do triumph all virtue confounding”. But the light shone forth on Easter Day and the risen Christ is still the light of the world.
Lord, scatter by your risen presence all the darkness I see around me.