Sometimes ‘mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters calm, o’er troubled sea,
Still ’tis his hand that leadeth me.
Behold! I come, in the book of the scroll it is written of Me-to do Your will, My God. (Ps. 40.7-8 cf. Heb. 10.7)
John’s passion narrative involves an array of creation-related images. These images are not randomly arranged, nor can they simply be slotted into our favourite schema. They define their own shape and significance, which they do in order to depict the reversal of Adam’s fall courtesy of Jesus’ steadfast obedience. Moreover, by means of their backdrop of primordial darkness, they situate Jesus’ death at the very dawn of time. Just as the effects of the fall have rippled outwards until all creation has felt their impact, so too will the effects of Jesus’ death, until the whole earth has been filled with the knowledge of God. (James Bejon)