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Thursday Thoughts March 28, 2024

Thursday Thoughts

March 28, 2024


Were you ever scared of the dark? Maybe you still are. Children are often afraid of perceived monsters hiding in closets or under beds at night. Movies capitalize on a person's fear of the dark. In scary movie scenes, the music starts to sound creepy as we await something terrible to jump out of the dark. Usually, we jump, scream, or throw our popcorn in the air when the scary part happens.

 This is Holy Week. We weren't thinking of the dark when we sang and waved palm branches on Sunday. If you are coloring or hiding eggs with children this week, you aren't thinking about darkness and suffering. If you are planning a Sunday celebration you know that the dark days of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are in the rearview mirror and it is time for celebration.

 Skipping over the events between the celebration of Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday means that the significance of Easter has been diminished. We all have had to face hard times, sad times, life-altering times. But none more than our Savior, Jesus Christ. We cannot fully comprehend what he has done for us because of his love for us.

 On what we now call Maundy Thursday, we remember the Last Supper. Jesus ate a meal with his disciples and told them that one of them would betray him. Then Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it, proclaimed it was his body, and offered it to the disciples. Likewise, he took a cup of wine, gave thanks, and offered it to them to drink. He told them this was the blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for all. They sang a song and walked down the steps from the city, across the Kidron Valley to the Mount of Olives where Jesus had processed on Sunday to pray. (based on Mark 14:17-26).

 We know that Jesus was arrested in the garden by the temple guards and led away. A sham trial was held at night and he was declared guilty of blasphemy. Jesus was beaten and even disowned by Peter. There were public spectacles featuring Jesus that were all based on lies. Jesus continued to be mocked, spat upon, and beaten. Then he is nailed to a cross.

 "From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About 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?'" Matthew 27:45-46

 "And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split." Matthew 27:50-51

 The darkness covered the land for three hours. This was a terrifying darkness and Jesus was screaming from the cross, "Why did you desert me, Father?" If we go back and read Psalm 22:1 David writes, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?" David was hurting and felt alone. Later in the Psalm, his despair turns to joy.

Jesus knew that he would have to be separated from the Father for a while to take on the sins of the world and destroy their power forever. Then joy would come in the morning of the third day. Yes, Jesus took away our sins. The physical abuse he withstood was brutal but the shouldering of all our sins separated him from the perfect Father for a time. The burden was so great that the earth grew black and rocks split from the enormity of the sacrifice. One of the most awesome parts of the crucifixion story for me was the curtain in the temple being ripped in two pieces. This was the curtain that hid the Holy of Holies from the people as it was too great for the people to gaze upon. Only the High Priest could enter the chamber behind the curtain once a year to offer a sin offering for the people. Now the curtain was ripped apart allowing you and me to come directly to the Father without having to go through an intermediary to ask for forgiveness. Jesus paid the price for our sins with his own body and blood. He allowed himself to go through the darkness, the horror, and the extreme pain to shower us with the gift of redemption. His blood has covered our sinful ways if we will but ask. Because of his great sacrifice, we can rejoice that our sins are forgiven and that if we accept him as our Lord and Savior, we will spend eternity with him.

 Holy Week, don't let it go by without walking in the darkness of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday so that the beauty of Easter morning is ever more beautiful and meaningful.



 P.S. Thursday Thoughts will be delivered to your email from a different address starting April 11. If you would like to continue receiving Thursday Thoughts please send me an email at

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