The Hour of Darkness – Gospel in Life

The Hour of Darkness

Tim Keller |  April 13, 2003

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  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Luke 22:39-64
RS 157-3


Today’s passage comes from Luke and it describes the night in which Jesus was betrayed. There is a theme to this passage: darkness and night. When the authorities come to take Jesus away, he tells them in verse 53 “this is your hour — when darkness reigns.” It could be translated as “this the hour of the authority of darkness.” The physical darkness is a representation of something deeper that happens.

There’s a darkness that blinds the eyes, and then there’s another kind of darkness that blinds the heart and the mind and the soul. It’s a spiritual darkness. Jesus has come to redeem us from this darkness. There are three incidents that we’re going to look at; the first two tell us about our condition and the third tells us what Jesus has come to do about it. First, the soldiers reject him; then, the disciples reject him; and lastly, the Father rejects him. These are necessary for Jesus to do the redeeming work that he was sent to do.

Luke 22:39–64

On the night when Jesus was betrayed, he points out a problem – a spiritual blindness that affects our hearts, minds, and souls. This blindness is like a darkness inside us, and we see it acted out in the real world. The story of how Jesus was turned away by soldiers, his friends, and even God himself, is a lesson about this inner darkness and how Jesus came to help us deal with it.

1. The soldiers turn him away

Many people made fun of Jesus before he died, including people from all walks of life. This is very surprising, because they were actually confirming the things he had foretold. Often, we don’t understand how God can be at work when things seem to be going wrong or when we feel weak. We can be tempted to doubt God’s love in those moments. But remember, God turned the tragedy of Jesus’ death into something wonderful. He can do the same with all of history. Making fun of God’s work only harms us in the end.

2. His friends turn him away

Judas, one of Jesus’ friends, betrayed him with a kiss. This shows how much it hurts when those we love let us down. Sin is like a betrayal of God, who loves us like a mother loves her adopted child. Some people question whether God exists and what the purpose of life is. But if God is real, he wants to be close to us. Ignoring this relationship can lead to serious problems.

3. God turns him away

Before he was crucified, Jesus was in deep distress, even sweating blood. He was terrified of being separated from God. This shows how important it is to have a relationship with God in order to have a meaningful life. The story shows the deep love between God and Jesus, and how Jesus obeyed God by making the ultimate sacrifice. This is contrasted with the disobedience of Adam. The story suggests that we can find forgiveness and the love of God through Jesus. The main idea is that to overcome our inner darkness and failures, we need to turn to Jesus and say sorry for our mistakes. Then we can find strength, forgiveness, and hope in his consistent love, with the promise of never-ending happiness taking the place of all sorrow and evil.



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