THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

JESUS - THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Isaiah 59:2 spoke of the separation from God that results from the foundational sin of rejecting God and rebelling against him. Separation from God, who is Light, means darkness. But Isaiah 59 also gives the promise ‘The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those … who repent of their sins’ [verse 20].

Isaiah 60:1 announces the coming of this Redeemer as the coming of light:

‘Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.’

Isaiah has mentioned this light and this glory previously in association with the promised Saviour:

‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned’ [9:2].

‘And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it’ [40:5].

‘… a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
… to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness’ [42:6,7; compare 49:6].

What was predicted by Isaiah was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world:

‘For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel’ [Luke 2:32].

‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory’ [John 1:14].

‘Light has come into the world’ [John 3:19].
 
‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ [John 8:12].

The reason Jesus came as ‘the Light’ was to shine in our human darkness, to disperse our darkness, to rescue us from this deep darkness of sin and separation from God:

‘See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you’ [Isaiah 60:2].

‘For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord’ [Ephesians 5:8].

‘For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves’ [Colossians 1:13].

He has ‘called you out of darkness into his wonderful light’ [1Peter 2:9].

As the message of Jesus, the Light of the world, is told around the world people from all the nations are drawn to the Light [Isaiah 60:3]. The proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the proclamation of the coming of the Light:

Jesus commissioned Paul: ‘I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God’ [Acts 26:18].

When the Gospel is proclaimed, God makes ‘his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’ [2Corinthians 4:6].

The apostle John stated: ‘This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all’ [1John 1:5].

As we saw in a previous meditation, not long before the end of his public ministry Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, said:

‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer … Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light’ [John 12:35,36].

For those who put their trust in Jesus Christ, the Light, the promise of everlasting light is given:

‘The sun will no more by your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory’ [Isaiah 60:19; see also verse 20; Revelation 21:23; 22:5].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2014