Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
Have you read the world’s shortest novel? If you are a follower of the comic strip Peanuts, you probably have. The story goes like this. Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s dog, is a bit of a struggling author. He is shown sitting atop his doghouse, pecking away on a typewriter and he always begins, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
We never get to read any of his novel further, as something always happens to prevent him adding to it. Actually, it may not be the world’s shortest novel – because it never really is finished.
Good Friday was another “dark and stormy night,” or rather, afternoon. Jesus was betrayed, beaten, despised and hung on a cross to die. He became sin in our place. He was innocent; we were guilty. He took all that guilt from us and felt the brunt of that dark and stormy night.
As the text states, “He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.” Fortunately for us, he did write an ending, or rather, a beginning to his story. With the words, “It is finished,” he died in our place. The darkness had lost and the light was victorious! He rose from the grave to give us eternal life.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! -Psalm 34:3
Prayer: Precious Jesus, thank you for your victory over your dark and stormy night. You are our light and our Lord. We praise you for taking our place and giving us life with you forever. Amen!
Contributed by Tom Johnson
Read John 19:1-30 and record any insights you gain here.
Call to Connection
Reflect on examples of sacrifice you’ve seen in your life. If you can, thank the people who have made that sacrifice. If you can’t, journal a prayer thanking God for their sacrifice.