On Good Friday, the Word made flesh hung upon the cross. The One through whom God created light itself, the One who brought light into this darkened world at His birth, was subjected to humiliation and shame, torture and death. From the sixth hour until the ninth hour on that Friday, the sun refused to shine, darkness covered the face of the earth. For those who sat in the darkness of that afternoon, there could only be one conclusion: the Light of the world had been snuffed out. But the reality was quite different. The Light had been killed, it was true, but not extinguished. Indeed, as John boldly declared in the opening chapter of his Gospel, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Instead of the Light being extinguished, from the midst of the darkness the Light shone forth from the cross as the salvation of all. The darkness thought it had snuffed out the light and found itself overcome.
“From the cross Thy wisdom shining breaketh forth in conquering might; from the cross forever beameth all Thy bright redeeming light. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!”
The wisdom of God is the foolishness of man. Only God could bring Light in the midst of the darkness of that Friday, only God could bring salvation through the death of His Son. It is at the cross that the Light shines the brightest, for it is at the cross that the darkness is overcome. The Word became flesh to hang upon that cross bearing the sin of the entire world. Only that sacrifice could deliver those sitting in the darkness of death, only His death could bring life. The light that shines forth on Easter morning, the dawn of the first day of the week, simply reveals what had been hidden three days earlier; the Light of salvation is the light that shines from the cross.