How dark it must have seemed as dusk drew near on that first Good Friday. He who only days before had been proclaimed as Messiah and Lord was now dead, murdered and mutilated on a crudely constructed cross. His body hastily taken down, he was wrapped and laid in a nearby tomb. To prevent his corpse from being carried away by his disciples — and to rebuff any reports of a rumored “resurrection” — an enormous stone was rolled into place across the gaping mouth of the tomb.
The final faint rays of the setting sun had been shuttered — as had been the final faint hopes of those who believed in him.
It seems to me that each of us has to deal with the dark places in our own lives. In some cases, those who preceded us or now preside over us have already rolled the stone into place. Our morals have been eroded by a society bent on satiation and satisfaction. The world’s material wealth continues to be concentrated too much in the hands of the few and too little in the hands of the many. Deranged despots continue their conquests in their pursuit of power and position, waging war when they could be pursuing peace. Consequently, the hungry are unfed, the naked unclothed and the ill uncared for — much as they have been throughout the course of human history.
However, in too many more instances, the dark places are those we’ve carved out for ourselves. Persistent patterns of sinfulness and selfishness encrust our eyes and harden our hearts, making it nearly impossible for us to see or feel.
It becomes increasingly easy to retreat ever further into the comfort of our cozy dens, where we can indulge our ever-growing appetites and turn a deaf ear to the pleas and prayers we hear around us. Even as the darkness deepens, our eyes grow ever more accustomed to it. The only sound we hear is the blare of the television; the only sight we see is the glare from the computer screen.