LIGHT OF THE WORLD
Leslie M. John
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 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)
There were, in this world, many who taught that we should do good works and live holy life, but none could practically redeem any man from sin, when a man fails to keep meticulously the commandments and statutes of God.
There is no one who can claim that he/she is perfect in all respects in this world. What then is the remedy to get out of sin and receive salvation? Is it by doing some more good works that we receive salvation?
When we weigh in balance our good works and bad works that we do in our day-to-day life, we are sure to observe that our bad works outweigh always the good works that we do. After all we are made out of dust and will return to dust. That is why the grace of God is needed to get out of the clutches of this dark world that we live in. The only one who can get us out from that miry clay of sin, is the one who offered Himself as sacrifice and shed His blood for our sake, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He alone is the light of the world.
It can, therefore, be said without any reluctance that there is no one, except Lord Jesus Christ, who can claim that he/she is the light of the world. The Lord not only claimed that He is the light of the world but He also said that whoever follows him shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
If we look into the claim He made we can see that there is none who came down from heaven leaving behind the glory that He had with the Father in heaven, and taking the likeness of man to live among earth-dwellers like a man in flesh, and sacrifice His life for the sake of us, the earth-dwellers.
We are made of dust and are worth nothing but to be cast into eternal fire for the transgression we did of the commandment of God. The first man on this earth was on probation to prove his worth to walk with God as His friend. He enjoyed the fellowship in the cool of the day with the Almighty God, but he transgressed the commandment of the Lord. God said that he should not eat of the fruit of the tree that was in the middle of the Garden of Eden, where he was placed to enjoy the light from the LORD. However, the man proved that he was fallible and was indeed a mere man, and eventually fell into darkness. We all carry Adam’s sin in our DNA, and unless that sin is covered and washed by the Lord, we cannot see the kingdom of God.
God created man in His own image and took one of his ribs and made out of it a woman and gave her to him as his wife. The first man, Adam called her “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Ref. Gen. 2:23) She listened to the commandment of God while she was in the man, and yet she was the first one to yield to the temptation of the serpent, which was more subtle than any of the beasts of the field that the LORD God had made.
The small world where they enjoyed the presence of heavenly light was soon gone, and they found themselves naked. They hid themselves from the presence of God wearing a temporary apron that they made from the fig leaves to cover their nakedness. God created them naked and He knew their nakedness, and yet they realized that they were naked only after they transgressed the commandment of the LORD. God made clothing for them from the skin of the slain animal and put on them that robe, and chased them out from the Garden of Eden into this dark world.
Ever since they were out into this dark world they struggled to be out from the darkness, and the only possibility was to have God as their rock of refuge and light. Their redemption from sin was possible only if they were covered by the blood of animal.
However, it was temporary covering, and the permanent covering was to come much later into this world in the form of the blood of Lord Jesus Christ. There is no remission of sin unless the sin of man is cleansed in the blood of Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified on the cross and died on behalf of us, and was buried and later raised by God on the third day from the dead.
Until Lord Jesus came into this world as incarnate God, the LORD provided a temporary resolution for the people of Old Testament to sacrifice animals on the altar that their sins may be covered. Jesus came into this world as incarnate God, in due time, and while we were yet sinners, He died for all men, and thus animals sacrifices were done away with. Whoever confesses Him as the Lord and Savior and believes that God raised Him from the dead will receive that eternal light, which is of the Lord alone.
In Revelation 1:13-18 the description of Lord Jesus Christ is given. He was in the midst of the seven lampstands, “clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength”
The types and shadows were shown in the Old Testament period. God said to Moses that there should be seven lamps on a lampstand, which is also called “Menorah” in the Tabernacle, and the children of Israel were commanded that they should fill the lamps with pure olive oil to cause the lamp to burn continuously. (cf. Exo. 25:37; 27:20)
When John saw in his vision, Lord Jesus Christ, he fell at the Lord’s feet as though he were dead, but the Lord laid His right hand on Him saying “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Read… Revelation 1:13-18 ESV)
Lord Jesus Christ was in the form of God and yet He preferred to take the form a servant and the likeness of man and humbled Himself by becoming obedient to die on the cross for our sake. (cf. Philippians 2:6-11)
The Lord gave us that light and made us burning lamps to reflect His light in this world in order that we may glorify the name of the Father in heaven. He said we are the light of the world, and that we should shine before men that the world may see the Lord’s attributes in us. Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
It is evident, therefore, that we are saved by His grace and we reflect His light and do good works; but our salvation is not by good works, but by the grace of God by faith in Him.