Seeing the Light

Seeing the Light

Light plays an important role in some religious traditions. For example, in the tradition of Judaism lighting candles on Shabbat is to remind Jewish people of their Creator and to set apart this day from other days. Also, lighting the Hanukkah menorah is a memorial of the miracle of God’s intervention on Israel’s behalf in 168 B.C. Plus, the seven branch menorah found in the synagogue and formerly in the Temple “tells of an eternal light of divine origin, but tended by man.”1It is stated that this “holy lamp bore light in the Temple and from there to the world.”2 Even the “light” from Genesis 1:3, which was in existence before the luminaries (verses 14-19), “was a light, according to the [rabbinical] sages, set aside for the future of Messianic fulfillment.”3

All these symbols point to God in one way or another. Unfortunately, many are blinded to the full meaning of the “Light”. The Apostle Paul stated, “But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart” (2 Corinthians 3:15).

“Light” in scripture is usually synonymous with God, hope, the “written” Word, or the “living” Word (Jesus). For example, we find in the Gospel of Luke, as the angelic announcement came to the shepherds concerning Christ’s birth, that “the glory of the Lord shone round about them…” (Luke 2:9). The “glory” was this brilliant eternal light that terrified the shepherds as they realized they were in the presence of the Holy. Also, when Joseph and Mary entered the Temple with the baby Jesus in order to fulfill the custom of the Law, (sacrifice for Mary’s purification 40 days after the birth of a son), “a just and devout” man took the baby up in his arms and stated that Jesus is “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:32).

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” (John 8:12).

“Darkness” describes the condition of a person’s heart. One will stumble in the darkness unless they have a light to guide their way. Tradition, though beautiful, is not the “light”. Religion, though commendable, is not the “light”. Self-esteem and selfawareness, though important, is not the ‘light”. The psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). He found the secret to “dispel the darkness”, namely, the Word of God. The Apostle John stated, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word was madeflesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:1,14).

Jesus, the Living Word, is the “Light” that dispels the darkness of sin from your heart. He is the “Passover Lamb,” the one without spot or blemish, the perfect sacrifice on Calvary for the sins of the world. You see, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). This is why Jesus had to die on the Cross and rise again.

Jesus Christ is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9). The reason people do not come to the Light is “there are insensitive hearts, still incapable of receiving this Light because the weight of their sins prevents them from seeing it. Let them not imagine that the Light is absent because they do not see it, for on account of their sins they are in darkness. ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not’ (John 1:5). Therefore…like the blind man exposed to the sun, the sun being present to him but he being absent from the sun, so the insensitive one, the sinner, the impious has a blind heart” 4 –Augustine (354-430 AD).

Let us therefore examine our hearts to see if we are walking in the “Light” or walking in darkness. Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, or are you still walking in the darkness of darkness? Come to the Light and receive eternal life!“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Endnotes:

  1. Leo Trepp, “A History of the Jewish Experience,” (Behrman House, Inc., New York, 1973), p. 203.
  2. Benjamin Blech, “More Secrets of Hebrew Words,” (Jason Aronson, Inc., New Jersey, 1993), p. 17.
  3. Benjimin Blech, “The Secrets of Hebrew Words,” (Jason Aronson Inc., New Jersey, 1991), p. 30.
  4. Mary T. Clark, “Augustine of Hippo,” (Paulist Press, New Jersey, 1984), p. 280.