The Light of the World has penetrated and overcome our darkness
|The Christmas story is about darkness and light
From our earliest days, in the moment that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree in the garden, the whole of the world was plunged into darkness
All of creation laboring under a curse, shrouded in the darkness of death
Tragically, all of humanity willingly turning away from the bright glory of God, and choosing to close our eyes. We became futile in our thinking and our foolish hearts were darkened.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Long lay the world in the darkest night.
Ours was a domain of spiritual darkness. And ultimately, our destiny was, in the words of Jesus Christ, to be cast into outer darkness, utterly cut off from the love of our Creator.
BUT, Christmas reminds us that the darkness does not have the last word. God has not separated himself from this dark world. No, he has chosen to penetrate the darkness of Adam’s helpless race and become one of us. The Son of God become frail human child.
When describing the miracle of the incarnation, the Apostle John says of Jesus Christ
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. (John 1:4-5)
Light! Light for a helpless humanity dwelling in darkness!
The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”(Matthew 4:16)
A light has pierced through the darkness. The night is ending and the bright Son of glory has risen.
The Christ child was the brightness of the glory of God, penetrating our darkened world with the brilliance of his love and grace
For this small child, Son of God, born in Bethlehem, would grow to become that God-Man who would declare to each one of us:
...“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)
And the Lord Christ would indeed confirm to us that he is the life-giving light, but not by following an upward trajectory of human honor and glory.
No, the Messiah set his face toward Jerusalem, to the place where the Lord of Light would willingly lay his body down upon a the wood of a cruel Roman cross.
In that moment, it surely must have seemed to the world that the darkness had overcome the light. Has darkness won? Was the light only a mirage?
In the dark night of that cross, the brilliance of the glory of the grace of God was shining.
For on that cross, in his death, Jesus Christ took our darkness, our curse, our sin, our judgement upon himself. Upon that tree he bore the full weight of the curse in all of its unrelieved intensity and he completely exhausted the darkness of our judgment. But even more - upon the morning of the third day after his burial, the Christ was raised to life in glory - God declaring that his cross was indeed his victory over sin, Satan, death, and the grave. An end to darkness!
This is the light of the Gospel and when we believe upon this Good News, the light of the life of Jesus Christ becomes ours:
"Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee."
This is the glory of every Christian’s existence:
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)