It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, â€œFather, into your hands I commit my spirit.â€ When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, â€œSurely this was a righteous man.â€ When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Luke 23:44-49 (NIV)
This may seem like a strange Scripture to quote on Christmas Eve. I suspect that whatever worship service you attend in the next 24 hours, this will not be the Scripture shared. But on this day, when I look into the barn at Bethlehem and bow my head to the Baby, I bow because Jesus came to die for me. All the prophecies, all of Godâ€™s plan was about Messiah who would come to save me and He could not do that without the spilling of His Blood.
Darkness may come over my life but darkness will not have the victory because Jesus conquered the darkness. Jesus tore down the curtain that separates me from the Father. I have a clear path into the Most Holy Place because of Jesus. There may be days when I crawl into that Holy Place but the Fatherâ€™s hand is outstretched to lift me up and sit me in His lap. We talk. I hear His voice. I am healed. I am strengthened for another day.
Mary was there when Gabriel announced that the Messiah would come and that she was the one chosen to bring Him to earth. Mary was there when the Messiah fulfilled the promise. When I think that my heart cannot take another â€œhitâ€ I stand on her testimony that, with the Holy Spiritâ€™s strength, I can. I watch and learn.
It is Holy Night. Will it be a Silent Night? In many countries there is war. While most of us worship and sing, unwrap presents, and eat, and eat, many will put on their uniforms and report for duty. Police, fire responders, emergency medical personnel, hospital personnel, military on foreign soil and at home, our president and security personnel, so many who are there, on duty, 24 hours/day.
Let us make a choice on this Holy Night and be still and know the Presence of our LORD. May we be thankful this night for Jesus and the sacrifice that He brought that night and fulfilled in the darkness of Calvary. May we bring all that we are and give all that we are to Jesus to use as He wills, that we may glorify the Father.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.Â Â Â Â Â Â John 1:14 (NIV)
Silent Night, by Father Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber, sung by Andrea Bocelli