This tension was at the heart of how Jesus spoke in regard to his death. In Luke 22:53 he arraigned his captors stating that he had been 'every day with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me'; but the reason for their previous reticence and present action is summed up in stark terms 'but this is your hour - when darkness reigns'.
On the first Good Friday a day of darkness enjoyed its dubious dawn. All the forces of hell amassed themselves against God's only Son, and with savage thirst they sought his entire undoing. This was Satan's moment, darkness would have its day, all that is hateful, harmful and hideous strode proudly to the side of the Saviour and berated his power and his purpose. Here is the Saviour of the world demeaned, here is the saving purpose of God defeated, here is the One who claims to ransom men's souls humiliated, convicted and terminated by the iron hand of the Roman government. Even his own people have put him to shame. Darkness has its day.
But this is only half the picture or, to be more precise, a tiny fraction of it. At the exact point where God's plan appears to be foiled, it is being fulfilled. As Christ hangs derelict upon Golgotha, as the powers of Satan stand proud and defiant, something else, something wonderful, something that has been eternal in its planning, is unfolding. On the first Good Friday Jesus not only saw that darkness would have its day, but that darkness has had its day: 'Now is the time for judgement on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself' (John 12:31-32). In these words, and in the events that follow Calvary, our Sovereign emerges victorious, and Satan is deposed. Christ has borne the curse of sin, Christ has borne the righteous wrath of God against it, and Satan's paltry moment of power has passed. Where Satan sees Christ vilified, God's purpose sees him glorified; where Satan sees Christ extinguished, God's purpose is distinguished as having been at work all the time - even in the midst of deepest darkness.
We have in these verses the seeds which will spring to life in Resurrection power, but even in those moments where Christ's hands took the nails, when he hung amidst the blasphemy and profanity of an unjust death, when his stricken body was crucified before the watchful eyes of corrupt men, God was at work, and darkness was being defeated.
Darkness has had its day - and our victorious Christ suffers under the hatred of men, in the purpose of God, for the salvation of sinners, and the defeat of Satan. The darkest hour did not merely come before the dawn, but all through these darkest hours God's purpose, power and supremacy were breaking out, destroying death and the Devil. What a day, what a Saviour!