At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Beyond that, we celebrate Jesus’ life, too, and eventual death and resurrection. Jesus’ birth isn’t just the beginning of his life, but the beginning of God’s miraculous plan to save all of humanity. That moment set everything into motion. At Christmastime especially, we talk about Jesus as a dawning light, calling him the light of the world or the light of life. That sounds great and we know its a good thin, but what does it really mean?
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -Jesus (John 8:12)
Jesus is the Light of the World
It was true in Israel then and it’s true in our world now: there’s an awful lot of darkness to deal with. Since Adam and Eve’s choice at the beginning of creation, this world has been lost and broken because of sin. Only God can restore us, and Jesus’ birth marks the beginning of that restoration plan; the first light in what seemed like a hopelessly dark world.
As believers, we are called to “walk in the light as he [Jesus] is in the light” (1 John 1:7). We are called into relationship with Jesus, to walk with him and become more like him. And as a result, we are able to bring his light and healing love to everyone around us.
Jesus is the Light of Life
The Greek language (which is what the New Testament was originally written in) has a few different words that translate to “life” in English: bios and zoe. Bios refers to our physical existence, the actual time between our birth and death. Zoe, on the other hand, refers to our spiritual or divine life, the life that God gives us.
In John 8:12, when Jesus calls himself the “light of life,” he is referring to zoe life. Jesus is the light in our spiritual life; he is the purpose and meaning in our lives. In John 10:10, Jesus says that He has come so that we may have abundant life. In this verse, he doesn’t mean that he’s going to give us every single thing we want in life. Instead, he promises purpose and spiritual fulfillment in him.
Jesus didn’t come just to improve our lives; he came to bring us a whole new life! In 2 Corinthians 5:17, it says that, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” As we connect more with Jesus and surrender our lives to him, he breathes his light and life into us. Our lives are completely changed!
“God’s plan is to make us with bios lives, but in his image, every human being is made in the image of God, then he wants to breathe his zoe life so that you have purpose, meaning, abundance, fulfillment, the life of Christ flowing in you. As that life flows in you, you become more and more like Christ.” -Pastor Jim
So this Christmas, remember and celebrate Jesus’ birth. And one step further, remember and celebrate how that moment fits into God’s bigger plan to restore all of humanity. And still one step further, remember how we are a part of that plan, how God is using us in this restoration process. Jesus is the light of the world and the light of our lives, and that changes everything!
Pastor Jim talked about this in more detail in his sermon from last Sunday. To watch, click HERE.