We were looking last night at Luke’s gospel, as Christ is on the cross. My Captain pointed out that in the words recorded here, when Christ speaks, he shows his utter confidence in eternity. There is no doubt as he is there, dying. He tells the thief next to him with certainty, “This day you will be with me in Paradise.” And just a few sentences later, at the very point of death, with confidence he commits his spirit into the Father’s hands.
I noticed that sandwiched between those two proclamations of confidence was a description of the time when this occurred. “When the sun had failed,” it says.
I don’t know about you, but if there’s anything at all that I would say I put my confidence in, it’s that the sun is going to be there doing its job every single day, in summer and winter, in springtime and harvest. I get up, it’s there. I watch it slip away behind the trees out back, but I know it’s still there, doing its thing and we’ll come around to it again the next time. Even the moon gives evidence that the sun is still working.
Nothing in my experience yet has caused me to question the sun’s reliability. No amount of cloud cover, no eclipse. It’s the SUN for heaven’s sakes. You can depend on it!
But at the very time that God was actively fulfilling his promises to save his people, the sun failed. The very sun itself not only pales in comparison to the reliability of the promises of God. It actually fails. There is nothing in the universe that we can count on with more certainty than the reality of the future, in which God’s word is fulfilled. The sun may fail, but there will come a day when those who put their trust in the work Christ did on the cross will be with him in Paradise.
So for this moment, who am I not to commit into his hands with confidence the day in which the sun still shines?