Here in the northern hemisphere, we just passed the longest night of darkness this year. From here on out, daylight grows longer and longer until June 21.
Is it true that it’s always darkest before the dawn?
I suppose it may be in the sense that just before the first rays of dawn break over the horizon, it’s been the longest time since sunlight was last seen. Darkness seems to rule, and light is nowhere to be found.
Can you imagine the darkness at the very beginning of time itself?? Just how dark was it, anyway??
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.Genesis 1:1-2 NLT
But then the light arrived . . .
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.Genesis 1:3-5
I wonder what it was like! The sun was not created yet, so there was no sunrise. Did it slowly grow like a spreading fire? Or did the light appear in a blinding instant all over the earth at the same time?
And what was it like for the angels to hear God speak, then watch light itself obey to cover His creation? Forget about all of the things that came after, that act in itself is truly astounding!
When we jump to the New Testament, we read John’s words:
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.John 1:1-5
Verse 9 says, “The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” How astonished were the angels this time???
When He arrived, He burst on the scene . . . as a baby. Yes, I’m sure He was adorable, but I’m also sure He didn’t have a halo surrounding him in that manger.
Luke tells us that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and all the people” (Luke 2:52), but I don’t think He was glowing with light visible to the naked eye.
John tells us, “He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize him” (John 1:10). Perhaps if He had rays of light shining out from around Him things would be different?
But no, this Light needs special lenses to be seen.
During His days on earth, there were many who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, “‘Listen carefully, but do not understand. Watch closely, but learn nothing.’ Harden the hearts of these people.Plug their ears and shut their eyes. That way, they will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts and turn to me for healing” (Isaiah 6:9). The Light was right in front of them, but they couldn’t see it. They thought they knew it all! Their pride blinded them to the Truth.
But there were others . . .
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.John 1:12-13
The Word that was there when light first broke on the scene of creation itself brings light to us even now, if we’re willing to see.
Jesus told Nicodemus, “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants” (John 3:18-21).
Seeing Jesus transfigured really had an impact on John*–he wrote about the Light a great deal!
Again, in 1 John: “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all . . . But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5, 7).
But wait, there’s more!
“If anyone claims, ‘I am living in the light,’ but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness” (1 John 2:9-11).
Can you see it? Has it changed your life so that others can see it, too?
You know, that Light is going to burst on the scene again one day, but this time no special lenses will be necessary!
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!Revelation 1:5b-7
What will be your response on that day? It all depends on your response to Him before then!
For those who believe, it will be a day of celebration like no other.
For those who refuse to turn to the Light, it will be a day of great fear like none before.
Remember Jesus’s words: “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”
The choice is yours, my friend. How will you respond?
*You can read about John’s experience in Matthew 17:1-8 or Mark 9:2-8.