"Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength." - Isaiah 58:9b-11a NLT
"You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness." - Psalm 18:28 NLT
"The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those living in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine." - Isaiah 9:2 NLT
"'Because of God's tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace.'"- Luke 1:78-79 NLT
"Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, 'I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.'" - John 8:12 NLT
"For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile jars containing this great treasure." - 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NLT
"I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory." - Revelation 21:22-24 NLT
All throughout the Bible, Jesus is described as light: radiant, glorious, turning aside darkness. Jesus' presence is light, His being and character exude light. That's why, when we act in the character of Jesus, feeding the poor, taking care of the oppressed, light will shine, Jesus' care and love will be revealed.
The world offers a myriad of darkness and little hope. The Psalmist, King David, recognized that God provides the only light by which we see, by which we move forward in life. Without the light of Christ, we end up stumbling around in the darkness, trying to forge a way ahead for ourselves.
Sometimes there is real darkness, real depression. I don't wish to pretend that doesn't exist, even in relationship with Jesus. Darkness permeates our lives and our minds. Jesus Himself struggled in deep darkness, as He grappled with the unbelievable next right thing in His life: ridicule, beatings, torture, and finally death.
Jesus experienced the darkest night of any soul as He sweat blood and begged God to choose another path for Him. But He didn't shrink away. He went willingly to the cross. On the cross, Jesus experienced the darkest moment of all when God turned His back on His own Son in His time of deepest need. God saw all the darkness, all the depravity and sin weigh on Jesus, hanging on the cross and turned away. But only for a moment.
Why did Jesus endure suffering like this? So that we would never have to. Jesus fought back the darkness, surrendering His life and light, so we could live in His victorious light forever. Jesus rose, brighter than ever, having conquered death, so we could truly live in the light of His presence, even in our darkest times. Once and for all, Jesus dispersed the gloomy clouds of night.
So, having first chosen to live among humanity, even coming as a poor baby, Jesus had now chosen to lay down His life, to face deepest darkness and abandonment, so that we would never have to experience darkness that deep.
In our darkness, we must choose Jesus' light. We can walk in it daily, if we choose. We can trust that Jesus is with us in the darkness, fighting the darkness back for us, if we choose to. We can beg the Father to flood our darkness with His bright light, trusting in the reality of that light, if we choose.
Jesus chose to turn and face the darkness. Now we must daily choose the light. To trust the light, to lean into the light.
One day, when we are finally face to face with Almighty God, and Jesus the Lamb, we will completely forgot about darkness, so surrounded will we be by light! The light of Jesus will permeate every corner and nook of our lives! The darkness will finally and forever be abolished.
What is the area of deepest darkness in your life? What would it look like to truly surrender and let go of that darkness, and trust the light of Christ?
How have you experienced the light of Jesus in your life? In your day?
Think of someone who exudes the light of Jesus. What's different about them?