Looking out our front window I can see the wooden cross we drove in the ground a short time ago. For days it was draped with a purple cloth. Purple is the color of royalty I’m told and has been for centuries. A cross doesn’t seem like the place for royalty but people who are filled with hatred and have Satan ruling their hearts are capable of killing kings. But this cross was destined to hold a special kind of royalty, the King of kings would soon adorn it’s rugged face. A few days before the same king made a triumphant arrival in the city of kings. Lauded by crowds who lined the street and waved palm branches, indicating they accepted him as their king.
When I looked out the window yesterday, the purple was gone. In it’s place Grace had laid a black cloth. It was the day Jesus would be led to the cross. The palms were gone and so were the adoring crowds. In their place was a leering and jeering mob. They called out insults and made mockery. When asked what should be done to the king they had welcomed a few days before they shouted crucify him. And Pilate did. He had the King of kings nailed to a cross with a sign signifying who he was over his head.
It was a black day. It became blacker. As Jesus slowly lost his life the sky darkened. That is what happens when you destroy the light. Evil is in blackness. Pain and suffering are in blackness. Hatred and malice are in blackness. The world lost its light and God plunged it into the darkness it deserved.
All over town, crosses like ours stand in front yards today. They have one thing in common. They are draped in blackness. On this day, long ago, evil reigned and darkness ruled the earth. We put a black cloth on our cross to remind us of what evil if unchecked can do. We put the black cloth on our cross to remind us of our own personal sins that caused the darkness. Not a pleasant sight or thought but a necessary one. We need to be reminded of the darkness.
When we go to bed tonight the cross will still be covered in black. But we will arise at dawn and take a white cloth out to the cross. I know from past experience that a chill will run up my spine when I remove the black cloth and Grace puts the white one on in its place. No more darkness, no more pain, no more sorrow and no more sin. Jesus is alive. He came out of the tomb and the King of kings reigns over all the universe and darkness is vanished forever in the life of his saints.