We woke to the ringing echo of a single, high pitched tone. It bounced through the darkness of early morning to announce the beginning of a thirty-one hour separation from power. No more charging phones, no more hot water, no more hair appliances, or toaster, or microwave. The fridge harboured what coolness remained, and the computers lay silently dormant. We rose in darkness, and prepared for work in darkness. Soon, the light would illuminate the messiness that darkness had brought. It is interesting to see what a power-shortage can unveil. All of a sudden, the entertainment, devices, appliances and home lighting we so often take for granted become more obvious in purpose. We treasure the hours of daylight and prepare for the fall of night with candles, lamps and torches carefully placed to illuminate the home. Some seek shelter in the home of another who still has light. In those thirty-one hours of darkness, we remembered the light of our Lord Jesus, and rejoiced in His life. United, we came together by candlelight to declare His light, His salvation and His righteousness. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” [John 1:4-5]
The life of Jesus is the light of men; and what does it reveal? In the life of Jesus, we have Salvation. In His light, we have direction, purpose and conviction. In His life we have mercy. In His light, we glow with His nature.
The life and light of Jesus is Salvation to men, Witness through their life, and Mercy in their relationships.
- [John 1:7-8, 12]
– “This man (John the Baptist) came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not the Light, but was sent to bear witness of the Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world…[v.12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…”
- [Matthew 5:14-16]
– “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good work and glorify your Father in heaven.”
- [2 Corinthians 4:6]
– “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
The life and light of Jesus intensifies the heat of longing, desire and passion for God. It makes cold hearts warm, and awakens the sleeping.
- [Ephesians 5:13-14]
– “But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light (other translations – ‘and everything that is illuminated becomes a light’). Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
- [John 8:12]
– “…I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
In the life and light of Jesus, we prepare to face the darkness. His light extinguishes the darkness, and together, we stand as vessels of His light, illuminating the dark places, shining for His glory in this generation.
- [Philippians 2:15-16]
– “… that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or laboured in vain.”
- [1 John 1:5, 7]
– “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all… (v.7) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
- [John 12:35-36]
– “…A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
The life and light of Jesus reveals what is dead – sin and injustice, hatred and strife. All is brought into His light and judged. What is not love is destroyed, but in repentance and submission to Christ, we find healing and forgiveness of sins.
- [Luke 8:16-17]
– “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.”
- [John 3:19-20]
– “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practising evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
The life and light of Jesus goes forth to the nations. He intercedes for them continuously. Jerusalem is dear to Him and He will not cease His pursuit of Her but desire that her righteousness would go forth like the sun.
- [Isaiah 62:1-2]
– “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory, you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name.”
- [Isaiah 49:6]
– “Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
- [Isaiah 42:16]
– “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.”
So is the light of Christ unveiled – light which redeems sinners from darkness, whose spread from lamp to lamp, person to person, and nation to nation cannot be halted. It is a light that makes all things seen in a person so that their God-given purpose and beauty is revealed, one which also uncovers the weakness of sin, but offers a transforming power, through grace, so that we are made more like Christ. To walk in the light, or continue in darkness – will we recognise it and submit? The light of Christ is the life of men, His desire, for all to believe.