April 16: Jesus’ Soul

Read John 19:31-42, 1 Peter 3:18-20

Jesus was dead. All was darkness.

The greatest surprise I ever experienced happened in the dark.

My father and I were sitting on a boat in the ocean. We were far enough from land that we couldn’t see any light, and both of us were gazing toward the eastern horizon.

Thousands of miles away lay the African coast, but all we could see was darkness. I could hear the splashing of the waves, and periodically the white crest of one would catch my eye if it came close enough.

All of a sudden, on the horizon, I began to notice a red glow. I rubbed my eyes. Perhaps it was only fatigue. However, the red glow grew brighter. It appeared as if the dark sea had caught fire.

I finally asked, “Dad, what is that?” His tone assured me that we were not in danger, but his only answer was, “Keep watching.”

I did. It seemed like years went by as the red glow grew. Now, the inky water caught fire with orange, red, and yellow shadows. I began to see the outline of the horizon line.

Finally, in the crescendo moment, the red rim of the full moon peered up over the rim to glimpse his face in the black water.

“The moon!” I cried, relieved and awed. I have never seen the moon like that again, but I have never forgotten the startling surprise it gave me or the power it seemed to have in that dark place.

Jesus was dead. All was darkness, yet His word whispered, “Keep watching.”

Peter writes that His soul was busy even in death. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which He went and proclaimed to spirits in prison because they formerly did not obey…”

Even in death, He was bringing the Good News of Life. Keep watching.

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