Monday, September 16, 2013
John 1:4-5 No need to be afraid of the dark
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
What would you say if I asked you to define "life"?
It's more than just our breathing, or our hearts pumping our blood through our bodies. If we try to sum it up, it's pretty overwhelming. But Jesus knows, for He created life.
What about light? Have you ever tried to imagine that moment long ago, when light burst forth into total darkness? I don't think very many of us have experienced total darkness . . . what would it be like to truly not be able to see your hand in front of your face? Or to see where your foot would land, if you take a step? I would imagine that the words fear and anxiety don't come close to describing that feeling.
Let's be totally honest here -- we pretty much take light and life for granted, don't we? Do we go to bed every night frightened about whether or not the sun will rise in the morning? Nope. We trust in our creator God to make that happen each day. Do we agonize all day about whether or not our hearts will continue to beat? Negatory. With the exception of those who have experienced some heart issues, most of us go on with our day, trusting the body that Jesus gave us to keep on going.
John writes here that Jesus is life. He uses this term thirty-six times in his gospel to describe Jesus. The flip side of the coin, if you will, is that Jesus is light. John uses this metaphor twenty-one times as he writes the story of Jesus. On two different occasions, Jesus stated that He was the light of the world.
John continues and says that the light for all people comes from having life in Him, in Jesus, the Word, Who has made all things. Outside of Jesus we have darkness -- because of our sin.
At Christmas-time, we celebrate the wonderful news that Jesus, Who is the light of the world, came into that world. But we can't just leave Him there in the manger. Jesus came to show the light of God's love and mercy as he taught, and healed, and raised the dead. He was born to die, thirty-three years later on the dreadful Roman cross -- the darkness seemed to be on the verge of triumph.
But death could not hold our Savior! He rose from the dead on the third day, and He lives forever! He is alive; the darkness did not triumph, after all.
This is the glorious message of the gospel -- that this Light has come, and has triumphed over darkness.
Please pay close attention to these verses in the beginning of John's gospel. Up until now, everything has been past tense: In the beginning was the Word....was, was. All of that is in the past.
But look at verse 5!
John suddenly changes to present tense -- in the here and now! "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." He was writing these words long after the resurrection, and we are reading them even longer after those events. The light of Jesus Christ is continuing to shine over two thousand years later; it is still shining into the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. In fact, we can have faith that the darkness will not overcome it.
The final book of the Bible gives us a glimpse of what heaven will be like. Darkness is banished forever: "Night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light...." (Rev. 22:5)
Jesus tells us: "I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." (John 12:46) He offers us light, hope and life -- eternal life with God forever. We can begin to enjoy this here and now, with Him, as we trust Him.
If you have not yet trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, won't you pray to receive His love and mercy, and begin to live in the light?