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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Journey to the Cross - The Darkness

Are you afriad of the dark? Let's face it - things go bump in the night. When we hear a sound at night, our instinct is to turn on a light. Spiritual darkness leads to destruction and when our loved ones walk in spiritual darkness we beg them the turn on the light.  When God created the world, he said, "Let there be light." Turning a light on physically and spiritually brings relief.

Morning Meditation

Read Micah 7:8-9
Mic 7:8-9 NIV

Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD's wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness.

Allow the Lord to light your darkness.

• Confess sin, doubts, and fears.

• Allow Jesus to plead your case and establish your right.

• Have hope. He will bring you into light. You will see His righteousness.

Morning Prayer

Praise God for being your light.

• Ask God to reveal your darkness so He can separate it into light.

• Tell God your joys, fears, and needs. Praise Him in everything.

• Pray for knowledge of God’s will for you today and the power to carry that out.

• Ask the Holy Spirit to interpret the scriptures you are about to read.

Morning Bible Study

Lent is a period of time that many set aside to deal with the darkness in their lives. Dealing with darkness is a difficult but essential part of spiritual development. Everyone faces the darkness. Without understanding the darkness, it is impossible to enjoy the light. Fear of facing the darkness causes many Christians to spend their lives limping through the half-life of denial.

Life on earth is difficult. Relationships begin full of hope only to become stale and or troubled. We look into the eyes of our newborns and anticipate their joyful and productive lives. They grow up and we have to face that they live in a world full of difficulty and pain. We wake up in the morning anticipating a day following God. We go to bed disappointed with the day and ourselves. Peace comes from examining the darkness in our lives to find the wisdom to see what must be accepted or changed.

Read Genesis 1:2-5.

Gen 1:2-5 NIV

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day.

What came first, the light or the darkness?

Have you ever noticed that most spiritual growth periods in our lives begin with darkness? God created the light and saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness. We turn to God to separate our light from our darkness.

The word “darkness” or “dark” is in the book of Job 34 times. We read how God separated Job’s light from his darkness. Read Job 12:22.

Job 12:22 NIV

He reveals the deep things of darkness

God reveals deep things in darkness. How has darkness been your teacher?

Read David’s prayer in Psalms 82:4-5.

Ps 82:4-5 NIV

Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. "They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness.

What are the weak and needy walking in?

Notice David’s concern that the weak and needy are vulnerable to the wicked. Satan attacks us at our weakest moments. Prayer is essential when we are weak and needy.

Read John 12:46.

John 12:46 NIV

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

Why has Jesus come into the world?

Notice the word “stay” in darkness. No one who believes in Jesus has to stay in darkness. We may move in and out of darkness many times in our lives but we never have to stay there.

The world experienced three hours of darkness when Jesus was crucified. On the cross, Jesus experienced His own personal moments of darkness. Read His words in Mark 15:33-34.

Mark 15:33-34 NIV

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"-which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Have you ever wanted to cry out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Our Savior understands your pain.

Praise God, the world did not stay dark. Read Luke 24-1-6

Luke 24:1-6 NIV

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

Morning came in the form of the resurrection, revealing the deep things only discovered through the darkness. The Light, now separated from darkness, returned from the grave, on the third day. Jesus had accomplished His mission of facing darkness and winning. He is the Light of the World. Let Jesus separate your light from your darkness.


An Episcopal priest told the following story. As a boy, he went on a retreat. Their leaders led them out in the pitch-black night and asked what they saw. It was dark and they saw nothing. Then their leaders blindfolded them for 45 minutes. Wearing a blindfold in the already dark night was terrifying. “I had never felt such darkness.”

Finally, the time came to remove the blindfolds. “What do you see?” the leaders asked.

“It was amazing,” he said excitedly. “Suddenly, we could see in the dark. The stars were brighter than they had ever been. They lit the way for our path. We could see the shape of the trees. By going deeper into darkness, our vision had improved.”

Examine the darkness in your life.

What terrifies you?

• What is causing you pain?

• What needs improvement?

• Are there behaviors causing you shame?

• Take an honest and fearless look at yourself and your life.

It helps to write it down. If you have time, make a list. If it looks too black, remember the old expression, “It is always darkest before the dawn.” Fear not for He is with you. He will light your way. We will spend the next several days working this through. We will discuss sin, forgiveness, confession, and restoration. Please do not stop in the middle of this process. It would be like staying blindfolded in the night.

Be courageous. As you go through your day, ask God to reveal your darkness.

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