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I experienced breathtaking imagery of Jesus' death and resurrection a year ago at Saint Martin in the Fields at 5:15 AM. On a cold and quiet London morning, I entered a church which was in total darkness and was handed an unlit candle. As the service commenced, the Gospel unfolded beautifully through the metaphor of darkness and light.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
— Genesis 1:1-2

 Before God intervened in creation, there was darkness. The earth was without form. But God spoke, and there was light.  Before Christ intervenes in our lives, there is darkness. Ephesians 5:8 tells us that "at one time you were darkness." Immersed in literal darkness, I was confronted with my sin, my own darkness, which I cannot dispel through my power alone.  The beauty of creation, marred by the fall of man, led us to the crucifixion, for Christ came to die for our sins, offering salvation to all of mankind.

Christ, fully God and fully man, is born to a virgin; He is the Son of God, the Light of the World, and the salvation for mankind. To achieve atonement for our sins, there must be a sacrifice, traditionally a "clean" animal in the Old Testament, but on the day of Jesus' crucifixion, the ultimate sacrifice was made. Christ, God's son, laid down His life for us, taking the punishment for our sins, for "the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)

Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachtahani?’ that is ‘My God, My God, why have your forsaken me?”... And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit”
— Matthew 27: 45-46;50

At this point in the service, we were all invited outside to light the New Fire, a symbol of Christ's renewing power in our lives. From this fire, a candle was lit, and we all filed back inside and gathered together. One by one our candles were lit, and this was read:

But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as he said.’
— Matthew 28:5-6

With the Resurrection account read, the lights were turned on, and everyone with a bell, triangle, or cymbal began creating music to celebrate the resurrection of our Redeemer. What a powerful moment this was to be literally brought from darkness to light in a moment. This is what happens when we ask for salvation. This is what happened when Christ rose from the grave. The darkness in the world was overcome by the Light.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked... But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
— Ephesians 2:1-2a;4-6

As Christians, we have no reason to fear death, for Christ has overcome. The darkness has disappeared and replaced with light. Rejoice in the beauty of the Gospel this weekend. 




Death is swallowed up in victory. O, death, where is your victory? O, death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
— 1 Corinthians 15:54b-58


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