John 1:4-5 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.
Whatís the point of our text? Jesus is God. Somehow that doesnít sound like anything very important, at least that is what I observe, for one regularly hears the name of the Lord of Lords, the creator of all things being used in a manner which shows no respect. Perhaps thatís part of the problem, for in countries where there are absolute rulers, anyone who does not use that name with respect, is either jailed, or killed. Perhaps because we do not see the immediate punishment we may begin to believe that Godís name and Godís rule are things which we need not notice or respect. The problem is that we have already been warned, and in this present darkness we fail to appreciate the gravity of the situation.
On the one hand, God is love, and gracious and merciful Ė but thatís not the whole story, for God is also just and righteous. We might have difficulty keeping all of these together, and applying each as needed, but God does not have this trouble. All sin separates us from God. All sin is serious. All sin needs to be repented of. And this means more than that we are sorry we got caught, for repentance is sorrow for what we have done, sorrow because it hurts God, sorrow because it hurts others, and sorrow because it hurts us, for when we sin we are not living the new life that has been given us in Christ Jesus. But repentance is not JUST sorrow over sin, it is also a sincere desire to change our ways. Repentance comes from faith, the faith works in us so that we come to God, and are able to trust in the word which says to us "this is the true body and blood of Jesus Christ given and shed for you for the forgiveness for all your sins. You see, salvation, and forgiveness are by grace through faith, and NOT of works.
How do we know these things? We wouldnít, not by ourselves, its that darkness in which we live. The root of this darkness is sin, and it obscures from our view the hand of God at work in the world around us working faith and salvation. So God is present and working, even if we did not see him. We would have remained in darkness, except that God sent his son into the world so that Godís will might be revealed. And Godís son coming into the world is light coming into the darkness. But there is a difference, for in the world light and darkness, when equal cancel each other out, leaving a gray dull existence. But that is not what happened when Jesus came into the world, the darkness fought against Jesus, but it did not prevail, it did not overcome the light, for the light won, and the light continues to shine showing to us and to all the way of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.
But it is not just light that Jesus brought into the world, and to us, it is life as well. And you might say, well, thatís something we didnít need, but you would be wrong, for in the first place, all life come by him and through him and in him. It is God who gives life, and it is God who numbers its days. But the second is perhaps the most important, because, while we had life, a gift of God, as a result of our sin, our life was forfeit, for the wages of sin is death. As we all sin, we are all under the curse of death, not just an end of this life, but also an everlasting punishment for our sins.
And that my friends is why we need the new life which comes to us through the light which has come into the world. That is why we need the salvation, which Jesus gave his life, that he might purchase and win it for us.
We need the light, we may convince ourselves that we can walk just fine in the dark, as long as we overlook the yard light which shines in the window, but when there is not light we stumble and fall, and we cannot find our way. And so we give thanks that God sent his son into the world to bring us light, life and salvation.