O mystifying murder! O mystifying injustice!
The master is obscured by his body exposed,
and is not held worthy of a veil to shield him from view.
For this reason the great lights turned away,
and the day was turned to darkness;
to hide the one denuded on the tree,
obscuring not the body of the Lord but human eyes.
For when people did not tremble,
the earth shook.
When the people did not fear,
the heavens were afraid.
When the people did not rend their garments,
the angel rent his own.
When the people did not lament,
the Lord thundered from heaven,
and the most high gave voice. – Excerpt from Melito of Sardis “On Pascha”
The dark night of the execution of Christ hangs over our heads in stark contrast with the coming of spring all around us. We remember our sin, our discord, our hate, our destructive impetus that hung round his shoulders as he hung on the cross. The stark contrast of grief for sins and in life received; we grieve for the sins committed, for the cost and the consequence of our own actions – our thoughts our words – performed in malice, in bitter caprice, in derision, or in our ignorance, though made no less vile for the absence of intent. Yet, that stark difference between death and darkness and life and regeneration meet on the wood beams that held the Christ.