Christ our Savior

Intro:

I am going to ask that the sanctuary lights are turned off at this time.

Does that bother you?

What if it was dark outside, would it bother you sitting in the dark?

[hold a light switch, flashlight, etc and use throughout the sermon, or even a lighter]

A few years ago I read a book titled, Night in Times Past. It was interesting as the book traced how people handled the night time in history. Electric lighting has revolutionized night time. Throughout history people were afraid of night time. They had a fear because of all the dangers. There were dangers of fire while you slept. There were dangers of people trying to cause harm through robbery, murder, rape, etc. There were dangers of falling and tripping if you were out walking. There were dangers from wild animals. Night times was different. The sun sets and everything changes.

Maybe this is why the Bible often uses a metaphor of Light for salvation, for God and for Jesus.

Let’s look at John 8:12 and talk about Jesus, the Light of the World.

My theme:

When Jesus is our Light we have eternal life and we do not walk in darkness now.

This week, every time you turn on a light switch remember that Jesus is your light for life now and all eternity.

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

  1. What does this mean?
    1. I am a literal person and sometimes analogies, metaphors, symbolism, hyperbole goes right over my head.
    2. But this would not have gone over their head.
    3. Jesus spoke these words on the last day of the Feast of Booths. Even if His announcement came after the feast itself, it evoked imagery associated with the feast since, in Jesus’ time, candles were used as part of the celebration of the Feast of Booths, commemorating the pillar of fire that provided light and guidance to Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 13: 21). Jesus is the light to which the pillar of fire as a type pointed. Since God is light (1 John 1: 5), Jesus’ words amount to a claim of deity. Again, “I am” points back to Ex. 3: 14 (6:35 note).[1]
    4. The Moody Bible Commentary gives more detail:
    5. During the Feast of Booths, large menorahs lit up the temple complex, commemorating the fire that guided the Israelites during the wilderness wanderings (Nm 9:15-23) and anticipating the Messiah who would bring light to nations. After seven days of dramatic illumination in the temple, Jesus declared, I am the Light of the world (1:4-5, 9; cf. “Jesus’ Seven ‘I Am’ Claims” at 6:35). If one believes in Christ and then follows Him (cf. 8:31), he or she will not walk in the darkness (1Jn 1:5-10).
    6. Imagine Jesus pointing to the menorahs and saying “I am the Light of the World…”
    7. The people knew that Jesus calling Himself was a claim to be God. The Rabbi’s used to call the Messiah “The Light.”
    8. Jesus Christ is the light of life that dispels the darkness of death.  When He says, “I am the light of the world,” He even uses the tetragrammaton, the I am.  The claim to be God, and the claim to be Messiah.  To say, “I am the light of the world,” is to identify yourself as God.  Psalm 27:1.  The psalm has said, “The Lord is might light and my salvation.”  First John 1:5 says, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”  They understood what he was saying.  He was claiming to be God.  He was claiming to be the Messiah, the light.
    9. John often wrote about Jesus as the Light.
    10. John 1:5: “The Light shines in the darkness.”
    11. 1 John 1:5 says that “God is Light.”
    12. Jesus is saying that He is God.
    13. Jesus is saying that He is the way to eternal life.
    14. Jesus is saying that He is our light now.
  2. Trust in the Light of the world.
    1. Too often we are afraid when we don’t need to be. Jesus is our Light for now and eternity.
    2. Psalm 27:1: The Lord is my light and my salvation—
      whom shall I fear
      ?
    3. I heard Ravi Zaccherius talking about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11). He said what would Lazarus be afraid of after that? That was an interesting question. People could say, “I’m going to kill you!” Lazarus would be like, “Okay, I have died before!”
    4. Likewise, what are we really afraid of? Jesus is our Light. We have eternal life, but we have the Light with us now.
    5. Jesus once said in Matthew 10:28: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill thesoul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
    6. Jesus is the Light of the world. Trust Him.
    7. Don’t just trust Him one time, but trust Him all the time.
    8. Trust Him today. Be confident that Jesus, the Light of the world is with you.

John 12:35

So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.

Close:

Darkness, do we like being in the dark?

I don’t like being in the dark. Everything is different when it is dark. Noises sound different, my senses are on edge.

I was at Camp Kirkwood co-leading a Middle School and High School retreat. It was night time and the teenagers were playing a game. Myself and a few of the leaders were at the bonfire which was near our tents. It was time for the teens to finish up the game. We called for them, blew a whistle, however we got their attention, and some slowly drifted back to our camp site. We still did not see all of our teenagers. Eventually, we chose to walk different ways to find them. Do you think I wanted to head out in the woods, by myself, in the dark? No, I did not! We divided up sections and we found all the teens. But everything is different at night. I don’t like being in the dark.

What an illustration we get from Scripture of Jesus being the Light of the world.

We don’t walk in darkness.

This week, every time you turn on a light switch remember that Jesus is your light for life now and all eternity.

This week, every time you get in the car and turn the head lights on remember Jesus is your light for now and all eternity.

This week, every time you turn a flash light on remember Jesus is your light for now and all eternity.

This week, every time you see a cell phone screen, Kindle, computer screen or television light up at night remember Jesus is your light for now and all eternity.

This week whenever you notice the sun is out remember the SON is your Light for now and all eternity. You don’t walk in darkness.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

[1] Reformation Study Bible (2015) ESV (Kindle Locations 115488-115493).  . Kindle Edition.

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