Mark’s description of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ highlights that fact that Jesus Christ was forsaken that we can be forgiven. Though He was forsaken He did not remain that way, but was resurrected by the Father leaving death and the power of death in the grave.
A few years ago my wife and I toured Mammoth cave with some family. Throughout the tour our guide would pause and gather the group together to share some amazing fact about the caves or point out some unusual rock formation or simply tell one of those tour guide jokes we have all grown so fond of, but about halfway through the tour on one of our routine stops we found ourselves in this massive opening of the cave. It felt as though we were in a naturally formed underground cathedral of sorts complete with its own rock décor. My wife and I were ogling over the many finer points of the cave and not paying much attention to what the tour guide was saying when all of a sudden the lights went out on us. Though we weren’t aware of it, because we hadn’t been listening, this was part of the tour. Never in my life have I experienced such absolute darkness. In that split second before I realized it was all part of the tour I was overcome by the most haunting feeling of desperation. In the blink of an eye I had gone from the center of a group of people to feeling completely alone. One second my wife and I were pointing and commenting on some rock formation some 100 feet away and the next we weren’t even able to see our hands right in front of our eyes. I had an instant object lesson in what is means when people say that the darkness is so thick you can cut it with a knife. It was amazing to me how something intangible could suddenly become so tangible. I know it was only in my head but it felt as though the darkness had literally overcome me to the point of squeezing the air out of my lungs. It only lasted for a few short seconds, long enough for the tour guide to make his point with dramatic effect, before he clicked on his tiny little flashlight. Though this little light’s beam started out about the size of a quarter it illuminated the entire chasm invading every cleft and corner and casting shadows throughout the room. That same tiny little light that was so powerful in the confines of the blackness when turned on in the sunlight above was barely even visible. It was in the dark that the light was most appreciated and most needed.
Our little trip through the caves got me thinking, it is as if the smallest amount of light is infinitely more powerful than massive amounts of dark. It seems as though the more intense the darkness the more piercing the light, even the smallest beam. In the darkness light tends to have an almost hypnotic effect on all those who are within range of it’s glow. As if some alluring melody radiates from the light calling all to its warming embrace, and giving hope to those immersed in the darkness no matter how small the sliver of light.
Our tour guide’s flashlight was such a welcome sight that afternoon in the cave but not primarily because it was a light. I didn’t stand there and admire that tiny flashlight as we stood there in the darkness, none of us did. The flashlight was a welcome sight because of the hope that was found in that little beam. I realize I’m going to embellish a little here, but just humor me for a minute. Put yourself inside that cavern. When those lights go out and the darkness envelopes, the realization comes crashing in that without the presence of just a little light all hopes of ever exiting the darkness are doomed. With each passing moment hope is slowly disintegrated, but as that light comes on it is as if hope floods the scene. I realize that right now you are probably thinking, “It was a cave tour for Pete sake!” You’re right, but it paints a picture of the need for the hope that light brings into our existence. Life could not exist without the light of the sun, just as hope does not truly exist apart from the light of the Son. So if you are a follower of Christ let your light shine bright wherever you happen to be. Not so that people will look at the light and admire it, but because of the hope that it brings to those who are within its glow. And if you are not a follower of Christ and you find yourself in darkness, look around and know that the smallest amount of light is infinitely more powerful than massive amounts of dark so if there is light around you, you will find it.