Thank God there is light today in a world of darkness. Paul, the theologian of the New Testament, described the world as a kingdom of darkness; but he said that through faith in Jesus Christ, individuals move into a kingdom of light. Here’s how he put it: “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
One of the amazing things about life today is the fact that science knows so much about some things and so little about some other things which are very common, and we tend to take those things for granted—not sensing how very important they are to our survival.
Light is a typical example. What is light? You may respond, “That’s easy. Light is….” But then you stop and think about it, and are not sure how to finish that statement. A definition of light from either a practical or a scientific viewpoint isn’t easy. People once thought that light was something that traveled from a person’s eye to an object and then back again. If anything blocked the rays from the eye, the object could not be seen.
In 1666, the English scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered that white light is really made of many colors. About the same time, a Dutch physicist contended that light consists of waves, and proposed a wave theory to explain the behavior of light. Christian Huygen’s theory held up for about a century, but then in 1864, the English physicist James Clark Maxwell proposed the mathematical theory of electromagnetism which became the basis of modern scientific data.
However, scientific definitions are not altogether satisfactory. Say, for instance, if your lights go out and you find yourself in a very dark room. You are not satisfied with a theory—you simply want a match or a candle. Forget the theory; just get the lights on! That’s the way many are today. Regardless of the explanation—they just want light in a dark world. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light had dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
Simply stated, light in our world falls into three categories—natural light, such as the sun, moon and stars; artificial light, which is another form of energy; and spiritual light. The Bible has a great deal to say about light and what it does to darkness. John, writing the introduction to his gospel, pictures Jesus Christ as the spiritual light of the world who came into a world of darkness. John says that the true light is Jesus Christ who will give spiritual light to every man. Christ Himself said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
One of the most practical definitions of light is simply that it embraces the cessation of darkness. Actually that definition is more practical than scientific, but in simple terms, it does tell us something of the impact of Jesus Christ in the world.
As Newton discovered, when light passes through a prism, a variety of colors emerge, some brilliant and some with subdued shades in between. Each is a particular manifestation of light. Should I ask 100 different people, “What has Jesus Christ done for you?” and I would undoubtedly get 100 different answers. Some would say, “He is my friend.” Or, “he is my Lord and Savior.” “He is the one who turned my marriage around.” Another might say, “When doctors gave up, Jesus became my healer!”
Just a minute, you might think. Can He be all of that and even more? Remember the light passing through the prism? Same light—different manifestations. Think of it like this: The cross became the prism connecting me with the heaven’s light reflecting on my pain and darkness, and no matter what that need, God is sufficient and able. Yes, He is the answer to your need, the solution to your problem and pain, no matter what it may be, no.