A strong theme we hear about at Christmas is the theme of light. John uses this theme a lot in his books for sure…especially regarding Jesus’ coming into the world.
When you are sitting in the dark and feeling lonely and sad, that is a theme that is hopeful and encouraging, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I hate being in the dark. I don’t think it is simply because I grew up in south Florida! I love to have the sun pouring into a room (even if it reveals dust!) It cheers me up and lifts my spirits. This is especially true if there is a substantive need to lift them.
And that is what happened with the coming of Jesus to the world! Apart from the fulfillment of the Promise made centuries before, His coming also brought Light to the world…moral light. With the Roman Empire in power, there was definitely a need for that!
So let’s back up to the words of John in the first chapter of his book.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him,
and without him was not any thing made that was made.
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.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-5, 9, 14
He is describing Jesus, the Light who will shine in the darkness…and the darkness will not overcome this Light…just as darkness is unable to overcome any light!Jesus, the Light who will shine in the darkness...and the darkness will not overcome His Light...just as darkness is unable to overcome any light! Click To Tweet
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.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
And here, Isaiah speaks of the light that is coming to the people who live in darkness. It will happen centuries from the time he is speaking, but it will happen. He then goes on to describe this child who will be born.
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
Here is another place where Isaiah speaks of the healing that will come from this one who comes in light as well as the justice He will bring. What hope there must have been in his words even though the fulfillment of this promise was centuries away!
Now we are on the other side of the fulfillment of Christ’s coming. We know Jesus came. He lived a perfect life before the Father. He died on the cross in order that we might be reconciled to GOD! He died even though He did nothing to deserve that death. Then, to show He had been victorious over death and sin, He rose from the dead! He was seen afterward by many…both individuals and large groups.Now our redemption has been paid for. We can be reconciled to a holy GOD. The idea is unbelievable! It has nothing to do with our good works and everything to do with the record of Jesus! Click To Tweet
Now our redemption has been paid for. We can be reconciled to a holy GOD. The idea is unbelievable! It has nothing to do with our good works and everything to do with the record of Jesus! It doesn’t even have to do with what we think of as justice. We are forgiven even when we don’t deserve forgiveness! There is nothing we did to deserve it.
We aren’t right with GOD because of what we did, but because of what Jesus did. He stood in our place before the Father and took our punishment. It is His perfect record that gives us righteousness, not our good works.
Now, we can stand before the Father at the end of our lives and give Him Jesus’ record to satisfy His requirements for a perfect life. That’s what it means to be dressed in Christ’s righteousness!
Then He will say, “Come into my heaven and share eternity with me.” What will it be like? John wrote a bit about it here:
And I saw no temple in the city,
for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
By its light will the nations walk,
and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,
and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.
They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
But nothing unclean will ever enter it,
nor anyone who does what is detestable or false,
but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life,
bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
through the middle of the street of the city;
also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.
The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
No longer will there be anything accursed,
but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
And night will be no more.
They will need no light of lamp or sun,
for the Lord God will be their light,
and they will reign forever and ever.Revelation 21:22-22:5