Summary: In John 8:12, Jesus said, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.
Jesus, the Light of the World
Characters of Christmas – Message Four – 2008
Gages Lake Bible Church
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2008
Pastor Daniel Darling
Intro: The Origin of Light
Light is an enduring part of Christmas. We enjoy watching the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House in Washington D.C. or the lighting of the Christmas tree in Chicago or New York.
At home, decorate our own Christmas trees and adorn our homes with beautiful lights. It’s fun to drive around the neighborhoods and view the homes that are decorated so beautifully. Perhaps this year it’s more fun to look at the lights at other people’s homes—and let them enjoy the electric bill!
The other day I took my daughter Grace to see the Winter Wonderland in Vernon Hills. Have you seen that? It’s beautiful. And as we went through there, Grace kept remarking, “Daddy, look at all the lights.”
Christmas is about light. But where did light come from? The scientists tell us that light comes from the stars or from electromagnetic waves or that 13 billion years ago, light emerged out of the darkness in an explosion we know as the Big Bang.
But truthfully scientists haven’t been able to exactly pin down where it comes from.
But if you read the Scriptures, you know where light originates. The Bible says it comes from God. Let’s read the opening pages of the book of Genesis, where it says:
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Genesis 1:3 (KJV)”
God is the creator and originator of light. Isaiah 45:7 says
“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isaiah 45:7 (KJV)”
James 1:17 says “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
James 1:17 (KJV)”
God’s plan was to create a world of beauty and wonder and artistry. A world that He originally created for us, His creatures.
From Light to Darkness
But something terrible happened after God created light and created the world and created man. Man rebelled against His Creator and thus brought something that marred God’s creation and snuffed out His light. Sin. The Bible says that sin brings darkness and despair.
You can look out at our world today and see that we don’t live in a world of light, but in a world of despair. I want to tell you that this was not God’s original intent. God’s story doesn’t end there.
The enemy thought he had defeated God, but in the opening pages of Genesis, God revealed His plan to redeem mankind again bring light into a darkened world.
The bearer of the Olympic torch for the 2000 Summer Games, came under attack 340 miles north of Sydney, by a teenager who tried to douse the flame using a fire extinguisher. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to put out the flame that would eventually light the cauldron at Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony on Sept. 15, 2000.
The enemy has tried to extinguish God’s light, but he won’t be successful.
The Promise of New Light
From the fall in the Garden, down through the ages, God promised His people that He would send a Messiah, a Redeemer who would be that Light, not only to the Jewish people, whom he had called out to be a light, but also to the entire world.
Numbers 24:17 says, “I shall see Him, but now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel.”
Numbers 24:17 (KJV)
Isaiah the prophet spoke of the coming Messiah this way, saying, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”
Isaiah 9:2 (KJV)
He also said in Isaiah 49:6 “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the Earth.” Isaiah 49:6 (KJV)
Jesus, the Fulfillment of Light
But centuries passed. God’s chosen people Israel continued down a path of disobedience and failure. They were captured by other nations and scattered. But God’s promises of a Messiah still held true.
Then, after 400 years of silence, God’s plan of redemption began to unfold. He first appeared to Zacharias and to Elizabeth and promised them a son in their old age. The angel said that their son, John the Baptist, would be a forerunner, someone who wasn’t the light, but would reflect the light of the Messiah.