Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Glory of the Words of Light

Scriptures that Glorify Jesus’ Light

          Here are some Scriptures that encouraged me so much this morning. Approximately 700 years prior to Jesus’ birth, God gave this announcement: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9:2).

          The point was simple: people were living in the darkness of sin, and there was no hope of a human being ever being born without a sin nature. God would have to be the one who filled such hopeless darkness with his light, and he told his people to wait expectantly for him to do so.

          One of the testimonies of Jesus’ coming into the world describes the event like this: “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world” (John 1:9). Jesus is the light God promised would come to the people living in darkness.

          When Jesus began his ministry, we are told that his life fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah from seven centuries earlier. Matthew writes, “And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned’” (Matthew 4:13-16). Jesus fulfilled the prophecy because he was and is the world’s true light.

          During his ministry, Jesus presented this invitation, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus did not eradicate the darkness of the world, but shone himself into the world in order to draw people to follow his light. His children stay with him so that they remain in his light.

          Although Jesus was and is the true light of the world, here is how some people responded to him then, and continue to respond to him now: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19). One would think that people living in darkness would love the light. However, when people love the sinful things they do in the dark, they do not want the light to expose their sin.

          For those who hate their darkness, Jesus sets them free from the darkness of sin and transforms them into “children of light” (I Thess 5:5). This is how God’s children of light are described: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9).

          Christmas is not a time for people living in darkness to sing songs about a light they do not know or have. It is a time for people to leave their darkness and come into the light of Christ. When we do come to the light, we no longer sing songs about this once-upon-a-time-Jesus. Rather, we proclaim the excellencies of the one who has personally and experientially set us free from the darkness of our sin and set us safely into his marvelous light where we will be free from the darkness forever.

© 2012 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, Canada, V1K 1B8 ~


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