What Child is This? The Light of the World
It was a dark night …in a dark season …in a dark world when LIGHT entered.
The Israelites had walked away from the Lord and given into their own pleasures. They served other gods and desired sexual immorality and spiritual adultery more than Yahweh. They fell into darkness and lost sight of His marvellous light.
The Lord’s grace is amazing though. He sent prophets to warn the Israelites ahead of time. Though they would face brutal consequences for their actions, the Lord would never leave them without hope.
“The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.” – Isaiah 9:2
The Israelites wouldn’t have known what Isaiah was saying here, nor did they care at that point. They hadn’t been exiled yet. They were living in their own prosperity and desires. Why would this crazy prophet be speaking doom and gloom? What was this darkness and light he spoke of? They would soon understand the reality of that. Yet, the Lord would plant this word in their hearts so that they could hold onto hope in their time of exile.
Hundreds of years passed. They survived the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles. They returned to Israel and the remnant worked at restoring their land. The Medes, Persians, and Greeks all conquered at various times to try and gain world power. Then the Italians rose up and Rome took over from the Greeks. Though the Israelites were back living in their own land, they did not rule their territory. Instead, they waited in silence holding onto hope that the prophecies the Lord had given them would one day be fulfilled.
“The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.” – Matthew 4:16
Then the day came where Light entered the darkness. A baby boy was born to Mary and Joseph, from the tribe of Judah. As the Light was born, a great star appeared in the sky guiding the way to the true Light.
This Light grew up bringing joy, healing, and truth to the world. Though He mostly came and taught the Jews, He declared that His light would shine before all men, bringing the gospel to the whole world.
“a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel.” – Luke 2:32
Though this Light shone brightly during His human life, He suffered greatly so that He could show His understanding of their suffering. He grew up poor, He was mocked, scrutinized, and misunderstood by His very own people. He was lonely apart from His Father. Eventually, the day came where His life culminated into His greatest suffering. He died on a cross and bore the full weight of sin and death upon Himself.
BUT – Nothing and no one can snuff out this Light!
“After his anguish,
he will see light and be satisfied.
By his knowledge,
my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will carry their iniquities.” – Isaiah 53:11
The Light saw the light of life again. He conquered death and Hell. He raised Himself up from the grave, along with many others that day, and lived! He brought the greatest gift of His gracious salvation to the world, to those who believe in Him!
The darkness can never ever take out the Light. The Light created darkness and sets its boundaries:
Where is the road to the home of light?
Do you know where darkness lives,
so you can lead it back to its border?
Are you familiar with the paths to its home? – Job 38:19-20
The Light doesn’t keep it for Himself. He shares it with His family, and those looking for it:
For the wellspring of life is with you. By means of your light we see light. – Psalm 36:9
Light brings life and exposure. It shines into the deepest darkness and uncovers its mysteries:
He reveals mysteries from the darkness
and brings the deepest darkness into the light. – Job 12:22
Light is hope, life, and growth. Light brings nourishment and strength. Light reveals the darkness in our hearts. It exposes the sin, grief, and hidden things. Then, it brings healing. Darkness cannot stand the light because it cannot hide things anymore, so it runs from it. He has “called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9b)
So, who is this Light?
“Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
Are you struggling with trials, grief, or anger this Christmas?
Do you feel the weight of darkness in the world? In your heart?
Are circumstances beyond your control that you wish you could find answers and relief from?
Are you overcome by addictions? Stuck in habitual patterns of sin?
Do you long for someone to love you? To notice you?
Come and step into the Light. Take hold of Jesus and His Bible. Read it. Let His Light expose the darkness in your life so that it will run from you. The power of His Light will overcome any darkness you fear. He will fill you with love, joy, and hope in believing to replace the fear, anger, and discouragement that overwhelms you.
Come to the Light and experience the greatest gift this world has ever received. Then, let the Light that fills you illuminate your life, home, and community.
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16
As you drive around this Christmas and look at all the beautiful lights making houses glow, be reminded of the Light in you that can impact the world around you. This world desperately needs Jesus’ light. Light a candle in your home this holiday and be reminded of His Light in you, and the light you shine before others to bring Him glory.