Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.”
The idea of newness is exhilarating. It provokes a sense of optimism. There is anticipation for the opportunity for a new start and a new beginning, to correct the bad and to renew the good.
For those focused on Christ, the thoughts of newness bring to mind the New birth, New creation, and New life. And these new things bring pure optimism and hope to the thoughtful soul.
It is like the dawning of a new day when the sunlight chases the darkness away. There is optimism, hope, and anticipation with the rising of the sun each day.
The Light of the World
There is optimism, hope, and anticipation in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is no wonder
He said of Himself in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Jesus is the light of the world because He brings hope and life to the world. He brings the message and the understanding of how to receive eternal hope and life. In Him the darkness of deception, sin, evil, hopelessness, and eternal damnation are vanquished.
And in John 9:5, Jesus says, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
In other words, as long as Jesus is around, there is eternal hope and life. There is the vanquishing of despair, sin, and condemnation.
But Jesus left the world two thousand years ago when He was resurrected from the dead. Does that mean the light of the world is gone? Does this mean that there is no longer hope and life in the world? Does this mean that we are doomed to despair, sin, and condemnation? Of course not. But why not, if Jesus is not here?
The reason we do not despair is that Jesus left His light in the world. In Matthew 5:14 He says, “Ye are the light of the world.” He was speaking to His disciples. He was speaking to those who knew Him. He was speaking to those who believed in Him. He was speaking to us today who know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.
Ephesians 5:8 explains, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.”
Christ is the light that delivers us from darkness. He is the life that delivers us from death. He is the righteousness that delivers us from sin. And having delivered us from death, darkness, and sin; He expects us and commands us to shine as lights of life and righteousness. He expects us to represent Him and to shine His light through the way we live and talk in order to show others the way, the truth, and the life.
John 1:1–14 explains the shining light of Christ and the witness of His light further, saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Sharing the Light
Verse 15 repeats what John the Baptist did, saying, “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.”
In these 15 verses talking about the light of Christ, it is said three times that John the Baptist bear witness of the Light. This means he bore witness of Christ as Savior. He bore witness of the Gospel light. This is what we are expected to do. This is how we shine the light that we have been given. Like John, we need to proclaim to the world who the Messiah of God is, the Christ, the anointed Savior, Jesus Christ.
We shine the light of Christ in the world by telling others about Him. We prove He is light by living for Him.
Romans 12:1, 2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
As I mentioned before, Ephesians 5:8 says, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.”
Philippians 2:15 says, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”
In Matthew 5:14–16, Jesus says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
We are the light of the world. And like the dawning of light, our message and our lifestyles should chase the darkness of sin and hopelessness away. We should be proclaiming and living the light of life in Christ Jesus. Goodness in words and loving righteousness in deeds should be seen dominating our lives.
For this purpose, Christ has left us here on earth. But are we sending the light? Souls have been saved. New members have been added to the Lord’s churches. New laborers have stepped up to carry the load of ministry. New ministries have begun.
It is refreshing to think about these successes because the negatives tend to prevent the light and optimism of Christ from shining as bright as it should be in our thoughts. We are not perfect, and no one claims that. But there is so much good being done.
Can more good be done?
Can the light be shined brighter and further? If so, we should do so.