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Voices Online Edition
Vol. XXIII, No. 1
Eastertide 2008

The Darkest Day

by Evelyn French

They had given up everything to follow Him. Now all seemed lost. What were they all thinking that Sabbath day? We have no record but we can guess.

In total despair over his own treachery, Judas hanged himself.

Peter must have had some painful thoughts, for Scripture says, “He wept bitterly.”

We can imagine John and our Blessed Mother trying to comfort each other.

The father of Phillip and Andrew may have had different thoughts. His sons had left the family fishing business and their boats to follow Him.

Was Pilate talking to his wife that Friday evening, trying to justify his decision?

Were some of them thinking of the life-restoring miracles they had seen Him perform and thinking, “Why couldn’t He save Himself?”

Matthew had left what was likely a profitable career as a tax collector, now he was a man with a price on his head.

And Simon, a Cyrenian country youth who had been forced to carry the cross after Jesus’ third fall, must have had some painful thoughts. Did he think he had helped a suffering man or did he believe he had helped with the execution of a criminal? Did he run away during the crucifixion?

Joseph of Arimathea, a secret Christian, may have found some comfort knowing he had gone to Pilate and then had wrapped Jesus’ body in the only cloth available and then had laid Him in his own new tomb.

Did any of them remember, in those black hours between crucifixion and resurrection, that He had told them He must die but would rise again on the third day? If they did remember, did they doubt it now?

Even though they had scattered on that awful Friday afternoon, some of them must have been together. Did they talk about Joseph and marvel that he had dared ask Pilate for Jesus’ body and had even placed it in his own new tomb?

In their despair and fear did they remember they had felt relatively safe at supper in the upper room only hours before?

As we go through our own darkest days, perhaps we can find some comfort in knowing these twelve men who were so close to Him had their darkest hours just before the resurrection. Our brightest days may come right after our darkest ones.

Evelyn French is a retired registered nurse and writer who lives near Colorado Springs.

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