Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Advent Day 9: Jesus Came to Shine Light Into the Darkness

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “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 ESV)

What makes darkness so scary?  I ask that question every time my children stop at the threshold of my dark bedroom.  They just can't make themselves walk through the darkness to get to the bathroom. So, at night, they head toward the room to do what we've asked, but then we hear them call for us.  They refuse to go in the dark room.

Why is that so scary for them?  The same reason walking into a unknown dark house would be scary for you. It's not that darkness itself is scary.  No one ever looked at a picture of a dark room and found it terrifying.  Darkness is scary because it keeps us from knowing what's in the room.  It blinds us to what is there.

According to the Bible, this world is walking around in darkness.  It doesn't feel like darkness, at least not the kind we're used to.  Nor do people realize they're walking around in darkness.  It's a darkness of a different sort.  It still blinds us to what is there, but it doesn't blind our physical eyes.  It blinds our spiritual eyes.  This world exists in spiritual darkness, blind to the reality of the glories of God - the very reality that could bring eternal joy and satisfaction to our souls.

Into that world, Jesus comes in the flesh.  Isaiah 9:2-6, hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, told us that a son would be born and the people who walked in darkness would see a great light.  John 1:4-5 says about Jesus, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it."  And, of course, Jesus himself says in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Jesus came to shine light into the darkness.  He came so that we could finally see the glories of His Father and the majesty of Jesus himself.  But, this light can't just be cast onto the world and all of the sudden everyone will see.  Our sin has pushed us into an even deeper darkness.  Not only are we living in darkness but our spiritual eyes are actually blind.  John 1:9-10 says that even though the light was shining, the world still couldn't see, "[9] The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him."

Therefore, in God's grace toward sinners he shines this light into our souls to give us sight, "[6] For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6)

So, this Christmas we can praise God that Jesus came into this world to shine light into the darkness, so that we can finally see the glory of God that will satisfy our souls for all eternity.  

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