The chill of a clear night leading to a foggy day lies ahead as a lone young bird sits at the bottom of the garden in the morning. Thick fog is everywhere today and we can not see far into the distance. Drivers can not see the dangers ahead so they turn on their lights. The first ray of light rises over the hills far away unbeknown to the young bird.
God’s true light, Jesus Christ was born on this earth in a far off land. He lived the life of a normal person until His earthly ministry started and then with startling quickening He took the temple by storm, up turning tables and using a whip to throw out the gamblers and the traders.
But before this startling event Jesus takes the temple by storm again as the venerable Simeon was waiting patiently for the coming Messiah and he is handed the small fragile Jesus, and he exclaims “here is the light to bring revelation to all nations”.
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
The lone bird growing up faces an unsure future as foxes and other predators lay in wait for it, but for the moment it seems oblivious and is cleaning itself blissfully unaware. Just like baby Jesus seems blissfully unaware that He will face many predators and challenges before He will have to willingly place himself in his enemies control and be tortured and crucified for our sins.
Today our church celebrated candlemas, which is the presentation of baby Jesus at the temple and Simeon exclaiming God’s thoughts. Another passage that talks of Jesus as the light is in Isaiah 60.
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Here we read the people are in repressive times with oppression in Jerusalem and throughout the land of the East. But God gives His assurance that the light will arise over them and all nations (gentiles) will come to this light.
The world has started to turn to Jesus but many are turning away from him, or turning to other religions. Jesus is the true light and as Christians we know that unless they turn to Jesus as their Lord and saviour then they will not be saved.
What lies beyond physical death for those souls I do not know but Jesus uses the word hell. He seems to be talking figuratively about flames and gnashing of teeth and all the usual descriptions. All I can say is that hell is a life without God, a life like my old self. It would be like being consumed by fire and living in heart wrenching torture. For my old self was self centred, sinful, and deceitful. I can not return to that place.
That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
This can be hard to fathom why an all loving God would abandon some and save others, but we forget that God sets the standard for love, He doesn’t follow our version of love. God also knows everyone, inside, their very thoughts, and God did not abandon anyone as He has given each person a chance to escape from our earthly prison and tempter.
He gives Light to everyone!
That way out is accepting Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven to be our advocate. He is there waiting outside your earthly door, just waiting for you to open that door so He can send the Holy Spirit to guide you.
I pray tonight you bow your head and just think about the sacrifice Jesus paid, how that was done just for you and how He did this willingly. One sacrifice once and for all as a light for all nations.