Last three hours
By Pastor Dino Griffin
“At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.” ~ Mark 15:33 (NIV)
These are the last three hours of Jesus on the cross. From noon until three, darkness covered the land.
Jesus had been arrested and tried. Peter had denied ever knowing him. The disciples were helpless before the power of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and especially before the iron hand of Rome. Their Rabbi, their Lord and King had been crucified. The darkness of these hours was more than the absence of sunlight. There was a darkness that had crept into the hearts of the disciples. After three hours of afternoon darkness the Messiah had died on a cross.
Jesus had told them this time was coming. He had warned them but in the dark they had lost their way. He had tried to tell them he was going away and would send the Spirit to be with them. He told them plainly that he would be handed over to be crucified. But when the darkness came, they forgot what he had said to them.
After Jesus was buried, the disciples went back to their old lives. Some went fishing. They had experienced an incredible shock. But that was nothing to what they were about to experience. Not only had Christ warned them of his death; but he had also said after three days he would rise again.
Then he did.
It is perhaps too easy for us to see the failings of the disciples from this viewpoint. But we can learn from their mistakes. The darkness may seem impenetrable at times, but it won’t last. God will often instruct us before the darkness comes. We should never doubt in the dark what God has spoken to us in the light.
Pastor Dino is gifted in teaching and has the heart of a Father. His emphasis on the Word of God helps guide the mission of the Vineyard Church of Lafayette. He and his wife Kris continue to carry the DNA of John Wimber’s heart for the Vineyard movement which was to engage the world with mercy, compassion, and miraculous signs and wonders that authenticate the gospel message of Jesus.