Life in the Light

sun-and-field

John 12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

Apart from Jesus there is only darkness. Put yourself in a pitch dark room for a moment. Better yet, put yourself in a suspense thriller I once saw. A man was trying to squeeze his way out of a narrow labyrinth whose walls were lined with sharp razors, when all of a sudden he turned a corner and found himself face to face with two large, hungry, snarling dogs. Then the lights went out. What can he do? He knows he is surrounded by danger, but he can’t see where the danger is. He knows he needs to escape, but he can’t see to find his way out.

That’s life apart from Christ. Surrounded by danger to our souls, in need of escape from the maze that leads to death and hell, but no way to see the way out. The only difference is that the lights have been out from the very beginning, and the danger is discovered only after it’s too late.

No one who believes in Jesus has to stay in darkness. He brings the light that leads us back to God, and it shows us such wonderful things about him. Watch Jesus stay up all night long healing the sick people of Capernaum. See him moved to mercy by the momentary hunger of the masses before he multiplies a few loaves of bread and couple of small fish into a meal for thousands. Then know that, yes, God not only knows how much it hurts or how hard it is to bear, but love moves him to compassion for you and he genuinely cares. He will give you the help you truly need.

Listen to Jesus tell the public sinners that when the shepherd finds the lost sheep he puts it on his shoulders and joyfully carries it home. Do you hear what he is saying? No matter what you have done, not only will God forgive you and take you back, he himself has done all the work to carry you home to his grace, and it only gives him joy to do so.

See Jesus bow his head. See his body go limp in death as it hangs from his cross, and know that your sins are great, but God’s love for you is far greater. God himself would rather go to hell on that cross than live in heaven without you.

The Greek philosopher Plato once said, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” That’s all the more true when people fear the light of Christ. It won’t blind us. It won’t hurt our eyes. It only opens them. It is why Jesus has come, to give us light. See the gifts it exposes.

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