I was surprised to see the king in total darkness. Then it dawned on me…
I typically drive into work before the sun rises, and I get a dramatic view of the lights on the crown of the King & Queen. These are iconic landmarks in north Atlanta, at the Concourse complex in the “Perimeter” area. They were designed with crowns to look like giant chess pieces. I took the attached photo on a visit to Atlanta more than a decade ago, when I lived in Chattanooga and thought I would be staying there for the rest of my life. So obviously, I’ve been enamored with the King & Queen for a long time. Imagine my delight when I ended up working next to them. Over the years I’ve noticed that the lights on the crowns change colors to celebrate different holidays. But this is the first I’d seen a tower in complete darkness. The other was lit in deep blood red, so I knew the King was in darkness on purpose.
Today is Good Friday, when we celebrate the crucifixion. The day the sun was plunged into darkness during the midday. And the day the light of life in the King of Kings was extinguished and he was laid to rest in the blackness of a borrowed tomb. I found the commemoration and symbolism in the tower lighting very uplifting in the predawn hours of Good Friday.
It struck me as strange, in my younger days, why the day of Jesus’ murder and burial would be called Good Friday. Until someone pointed out a passage in Psalm 118. You’ll often hear verse 24 quoted without its context: “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” And it’s used as if it read “This is a day” instead of “This is THE day.” But if you look at the verses surrounding this line, you realize this is a prophecy about a SINGLE day of incredible importance.
I will praise You,
For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
God is the Lord,
And He has given us light;
Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!