By Wade Smith
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Our journey began at the entrance to Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown, Texas. The lighted path downward, to what seemed like the center of the earth, took us by beautiful formations and through spacious natural cathedrals. At the end of the “trail,” we sat in a semi-circle as our guide shared the history of the caverns and the discoveries within.
Next, he reached to turn out the lights. We sat in darkness. Light was non-existent. Nothing could be seen in this deep darkness. Anxious. Afraid. Alone. And just as quickly, the light reappeared. We could see again. Light is good.
The first verses of the Bible describe the earth as being formless and void, chaotic and dark. Then, God said, “Let there be light.” God declared that the light was good. But Genesis 1:4 suggests that the light overpowered the darkness. From the beginning, light has always dispelled darkness.
Every child with a flashlight knows weak batteries always win over the deepest darkness. How much more so when God calls forth the light.
Yet, in the natural world, even darkness has its place. So, God separated the light from the darkness. God established boundaries in creation to allow the light (day) and the darkness (night) to fulfill their purposes. Even so, the night skies find their beauty in the light of the heavens. Light is good.
The Gospel of John reveals that Jesus is the “light of the world.” In John 1, His role in the creation of earthly things expands to His role in spiritual matters. John 1:5 says “The ‘Light’ shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” The word “comprehend” brings with it the idea of “overpowering” or “overcoming.”
Numerous times in the Gospels, the darkness attempts to overpower the light. At the time of Jesus’ birth, Herod decrees all infant males be put to death. Following His baptism, Jesus is tempted mercilessly by Satan. During His earthly ministry, Jesus is challenged and confronted by the religious leaders. On the cross Jesus is humiliated, put to death by the Romans and left for dead in a borrowed tomb.
Yet each time, darkness is thwarted and light is victorious. In Genesis, the light overpowers the darkness and must be separated. In John, the darkness tries to overpower the light, but to no avail. In both accounts, light wins.
The world is a dark place, but the good news of scripture is that darkness cannot overcome light. And while our experience tells us that evil is alive and well, the hope and promise of Jesus is that His light will not fail or be overcome.
Are you living or walking in darkness today? Afraid and alone in the night? The light of Christ shines. Will you come to the light?
Finally, Jesus declares in Matthew 5 that those who follow Him are also light in this world. As the “light of Christ” abides within us, it shines forth from us. And just as the stars are most brilliant on the darkest of nights, so too must the light of Christ-followers shine brilliantly in the darkness of hatred, selfishness and evil.
“Let your light shine before men, that your Father in heaven may be glorified.” It’s dark out there. Will you turn your light on? Remember, light wins.