Love in the Night

“Satan entered him”…Judas, upon taking the bread Jesus hands him, is entered by Satan.  Betrayal is afoot.  Immediately Judas gets up, goes out, “and it was night”. (John 13)

Night indeed…

Judas’ night is a demonic night–one borne of misguided intentions, distorted desires.  “Off”, he was just a bit “off” we might say…”off” just enough to leave open doors for the evil one to come in, thwart goodness and love and betray to death the Giver of Life.  Angry at Judas, we forget that Jesus is not the only casualty of this Satanic indwelling, Judas is taken too–in despair and regret, unable to undo or right the wrong, he takes his life.  Repentance was his, but he could not see or was too afraid to believe.  Satanic night–void of God, hope and at the mercy of the destroyer.  Night indeed…

“Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” (Matthew 26)  Another night in the night…as Jesus is betrayed to those who devise His death, His friends flee.  Jesus is left alone, yes, but so are the disciples.  Fear follows them in the night and keeps them from God.  Peter follows from afar, yet quickly denies and ducks away.  Without Jesus, the disciples trust fear to guide them.    Night indeed…

More familiar–maybe so familiar we are little affected by its telling–is Jesus’ night: crisis of will in surrendering to His Father’s Will; betrayal of a friend, of one He loved without reserve; abandonment by those He lived, laughed and loved with; rejection of those He healed and came to save; tortured physically, psychically, spiritually; Satan’s laughter as He screamed “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27); taking on the sin of the world.   Read that last one again, it is huge and unfathomable–taking on the sin of the world.   Night most dark, night indeed…

Other nights riddle the telling–the religious leaders’ fear of Jesus’ power and authority; Pilate’s fear of the religious leaders; the condemning crowd’s fear of their “powerless” King…Night, night, night…

Love is present, though.  We see one disciple who chooses love in the face of fear, in the deepest of nights: John follows Jesus into the courtyard of false accusation and condemnation–Jesus has one set of eyes “with'”Him as gazes on His slayers.  John follows Jesus to the cross, is there, actively present as Jesus dies a death most horrible.  Scripture doesn’t record him saying anything…just that he was present, actively “with” Jesus.  Female friends of Jesus also face down fear, move in love and attend to Him at His crucifixion.  Silent, yet “with” Him.  Surely weeping, yet never leaving.

Of course, Jesus’ love is present through it all.  He chooses love for He knows others–he knows we might have Life because.  Unyielding in what is real, He speaks the truth in love and lets it all happen.  He willingly dies in agony so we might become like He: lovers of God, lovers of others.

Love in the night…may we be so bold to love in the night…


–pics taken from Wikimedia in this order:


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