Yesterday, we saw His Star was a unique sign to announce the arrival of the King and to light the way for us to come to Him. For without His Light, we would all be hopelessly trapped in the oppressive darkness of our sin and the deep shadow of death.
When Jesus arrived on planet earth, it was truly a dark place. God, through the prophets, had been silent for 400 years. For many in Israel, faith in God had devolved into ritualistic legalism and a show of self-righteous pride. Rome’s oppressive hand was heavy upon the nation and the evil one spread its pagan worship and false gods across the land.
But as John declares, “In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). Amen!
Jesus pierced the deep darkness of sin and death with His Light and Life. Though the full glory of His deity was concealed by a garment of flesh, it was always present. Darkness knew it and feared Him.
Interestingly, we define darkness not by what it is, but by what it is not. We describe it as the absence of light. Ah, but how fast does darkness flee? At the speed of Light!
As Jesus began His battle against the powers of darkness, He first went One-on-one with Satan himself as He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). But after emerging victorious, Scripture tells us Jesus left Nazareth and went to the area around the Sea of Galilee to step into His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:12-13).
At this precise moment, the Holy Spirit quoted today’s prophecy from Isaiah in Matthew 4:14-16 to show how Jesus, as Light of the World, shattered the darkness simply with His Presence. It was as if the sun had just risen in the middle of the night as Jesus began to preach the Good News, heal the afflicted and cast out demons.
When John the Baptist’s father Zacharias was finally able to speak again after the birth of his son, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied (Luke 1:67-79). Zacharias finished with these words,
“Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79).
Let’s watch the Sonrise on Christmas morning.