Matthew 27:45-46 and Luke 23:44-49
This scripture leaves me dumbfounded. In his final hours, Jesus felt abandoned my God, his father, yet in his dying breath he also calls out “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”. Though Jesus FELT abandoned (and for all outward appearances he WAS abandoned, left alone to suffer in agony, unable to hear his Father’s voice or to be comforted or rescued) He still KNEW God was with him. He remained faithful, in the midst of not feeling God’s presence, even to his dying breath.
His faith caused the centurion to recognize and praise God while the disciples, family, friends stood at a distance, watching. Who are you in this story? Are you able, like Jesus, to remain faithful - to trust the promises of God even when feeling abandoned in your dark night? Are you the centurion - moved to belief by the witness of Jesus and others in your life who never waiver in their faith? Or are you those close to Jesus - who watch from afar, perhaps in fear of being recognized, or confused, or even doubting?
I was fortunate. In my dark night that I have experienced so far, I cried out to Jesus, to my God, and I heard and felt an answer. I was forever changed. Will I be able to hold on to that when I face the future challenges of my life? We are called to be believers and to act on God’s promises so that others, like the centurion, may believe and be transformed and praise God.