“We are each one on a road going toward home, but we are not trying to get there for Christmas. We are trying to get there for eternity. We want to arrive home safely to our loving Father in heaven. He wants us to make it safely, so He has sent a guiding light for us to follow; a Savior, the lord Jesus Christ, the perfect example” – Margaret D. Nadauld
Apostle John illustrates the creation, fall and restoration of the world in Lord Jesus by defining the deity of the Lord and then connecting the dots to the initial process of creation in Genesis. Our Lord first appears on the waters as Creator at the express command of God the Father to initiate the process of creation of life on the earth and latter “in the flesh” for restoration of the same creation. God commanded “Let there be light” and this is not part of the creative process but Divine sanction for revealing the “Glory of the Son” to dispel the darkness and commence the process of life on the earth. His glory filled the whole earth with His light and the darkness then also “did not comprehend” the glory of the Light and it was rolled back and “separated from the Light”. God did not remove darkness from the face of the earth but permitted it to coexist with the Light and as God saw “the Light was good”. The Light then proceeds to change the face of the earth from being “void and without form” into a beautiful place revealing the glory of the Creator. The creation itself bears witness to this Divine glory “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, an all that is in them, saying “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13).
Why Jesus is the “Light of the world”? – At the time of creation the earth was inhabitable, covered with water and in darkness in a state where life was not possible. The first word that comes from God is “Let there be light” and in this there is no process of creation involved but Divine permission is accorded to reveal something that already exists. Light and spirit have to be in a space wherever living beings exist and there must be some difference between the light and spirit of different worlds in accordance with the different worlds themselves. Hell must have its own light and spirit or there cannot be living inhabitants there, for the fallen angels are living creatures still. But the light of hell is unable to disperse and overcome darkness and has greatly limited refreshing and lighting capacity. Hell also must have its own spirit but due to its inability to detect the will of God, it represents death and not life. The heavenly Light and Spirit, being directly from God, have eternal life in them and are closest to God. The light and spirit of the earth represent the fallen nature of mankind and reveal the animalistic nature of man. From the lower to the higher state shift can only happen through an adaptation into that nature through the source of that particular world.
Before earth only heavens and its inhabitants, the angels, had been created and the creation then had no light of itself to illuminate anything else. Only God had, then and now and also in future will have His own glory to light up the whole universe, for we are made aware in the creation process that artificial lights of sun, moon and the stars came into existence from this source of light only.
In the created realm all three i.e. the heavens, the earth and hell/Hades have their own light and spirit to establish norms of life therein. In heavens the glory of God provides the light and His Spirit establishes rule and in like manner God has established sun, moon and the stars for light and the spirit (nature) of the earth. The light and spirit of the earth or hell cannot lead us into the heavenly realm and only the Light of the Son and God’s Spirit is able to do this. The claim of Lord Jesus “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). The Greek word used for light is “Phos” and it means “to shine, make manifest, especially by rays”. The miraculous works, the enlightening words explaining the Old Testament Scripture and His love for all are the “rays” used by the Lord to reveal His Light and through that reveal God the Father to the mankind.
Light of Creation – Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans reveals the role of the Lord Jesus in the initial process of creation “By Him, through Him and for Him are all things” (Romans 11:36). And Apostle John also in a similar way declares “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3), for Jesus is the Word that became flesh. Thus in Genesis 1 our Lord appears in His glory to light up the whole earth and it is only through His Divine presence that the process of creation gets initiated and life starts on the earth after it is made habitable.
This light of the first four days is again revealed to Apostle John during his visit to heaven as described in the Book of Revelation. Once the kingdom of heaven is established on the earth and the heavenly capital Jerusalem is brought down to the earth as the New Jerusalem, “And the city has no need for sun or moon to shine on it because the glory of God illuminates the city and the Lamb is its lamp. By its light the nations will walk (Revelation 21:23-24). This light must fulfill both the physical and spiritual aspects of Scripture.
Physical aspect of Light – Since the first two verses of Genesis 1 explain the existing condition of the earth being covered with total darkness, nothing would be visible except through Divine eyes. And the Scripture highlights the situation on the earth and the changes made as being completely visible. Thus the light that appeared on the surface of the waters that covered the earth, though it was the product of God’s Word, it had a physical aspect to it to make everything visible. This Light that covered the face of the earth was different in intensity and quality to the light that was provided by the sun from fourth day onwards, though even that was created and revealed at the express command of God through His Word. All that appeared on the earth in the Light of the first four days has a different nature to what came into being in the last two days of creation and we shall understand the difference latter.
Spiritual aspects of Light – All process of creation and transformation has happened through God’s Word and in Him is the creative power of God revealed. Apostle John rightly equates this Word in a Person and with God, being God in power and glory for “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). The Light in the creation process is an active and living source that reveals God’s love and power through His actions. The Psalmist further clarifies this that “The unfolding/entrance of Your words gives light” (Psalm 119:130) and this light in this perspective assumes spiritual connotation to provide man with the knowledge of God and His will. This Light not only brings life into being on the earth but also sustains it for eternity by providing us knowledge of God for “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known” (John 1:18). Since this “Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1) He is not less but equal to God and is thus able to reveal God to us and act in His power. He is thus not only a source but the symbol of knowledge of God also.
Fusion of the two – This Light is represented by the Tree of Life to give eternal life to the one who eats the fruit and the “darkness” of the earth could neither comprehend nor overcome Him. This True Light is again seen by the “three disciples” during the transfiguration of the Lord in His Divine glory (Matthew 17:2) and in addition to expressing His Deity, the area also gets illumination. This Divine Light is complete in every aspect as a physical and also a spiritual source to act as a “Lamp to the feet” (Psalm 119:105) but the darkness perceived Him only in His physical form during the period of creation and latter during transformation. The Greek word used for darkness is “skotia” meaning darkness due to want/absence of light or ignorance of divine things. And the word “katalambanw” translated as ‘comprehend or knew not’ actually means to “take into one’s self; lay hold of; to make one’s own; to take possession of; to perceive, understand or comprehend”. Thus this Light is complete and perfect but the darkness did not appropriate this to become like Him and was thus ‘separated’ and removed from heaven, then in Genesis as well as in the New Testament and the final separation will be at the Lord’s second coming in His glory.
That this Light has the power to transform is confirmed by the same light reflected from Moses’ face after being in His presence and in the message to the disciples by the Lord Himself “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Neither Moses nor any of the disciples had it within themselves to have this light except as a gift from the Source Himself and the Scripture confirms this “You will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory” (Isaiah 60:19). Our Lord in His prayer to God the Father seeks restoration of His Divine glory that He always had since eternity with God (John 17:5). The Savior Messiah always was, is and always will be irrespective of the status of the creation for His being is with God and not with creation and creation only reflects His glory.
Another important aspect of this Light of life is His perfection and completeness where there are no ill effects. The light of the sun has various other rays also which require the filter created by God in the form of the ozone layer to save mankind from these due to over exposure. The Light of the glory of the Lord gives us life in and of abundance where the more we are exposed to Him the better we become.
What confirms Jesus’ reality – The Lord declared that He being Light of the world will give the Light of life to His followers by leading them out of darkness. This promise is fulfilled by Him in different ways through physical and spiritual deeds that He came for –
- To Reveal God – During the process of creation He revealed the love, might and will of God to all creation and in His second coming as Immanuel, He does the same. Repeated declarations by Him about His Source of power and guidance confirm this fact “I do nothing of My own but what My Father tells Me to do”(John 5:30 & 8:28). The very name Immanuel given to Him before His birth confirms this fact as He being God coming down to be us.
- To Reveal present status –Lord Jesus as the living Word is a mirror through which we see our own corrupted state “covered with darkness, void and useless” molded in the likeness of darkness. All through His sojourn on the earth, as a twelve years old child revealing the truth of Scripture or during His ministry, He exposed the exact state of mankind to lead them to the right path- from hypocrisy to love of God.
- To Correct and transform –Lord Jesus gives ‘life’ and this is both physical and spiritual. He corrects the void and shapeless state of the earth to make it fit for life to start. When man realizes his need for a Savior at the urging of the Holy Spirit and turns to the Lord, he gets a new birth wherein his dark sinful life gets transformed from an earthen vessel to one filled with the “treasure of knowledge of glory of God”. We are washed in the power of His blood and made new, fit to be in Divine presence and thus receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. With this transformation Immanuel who was with us comes to be in us and the mirror now has two images- one of the glory of God and the other of our daily sinful state to enable us to repent and get changed into the “likeness and image of God”.
- To Provide continuity –The Light does not perform a onetime act and then leave but promises “never to leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). After the initial four days, when the sun, moon and stars are in place the Light of the Lord is replaced by created lights to ensure continuity of life on the earth for no life is possible without light. In the same way ‘if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old life is gone, a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In this new life God helps us to continue in His presence always through the gift of the Holy Spirit, under whose guidance and power “God works in us both to will and to do” (Philippians 2:13). His permanent presence provides us the required continuity in Him, His light and His power.
By accepting Lord Jesus as the Lord of our lives, we welcome Him through surrendering of self to His mighty power to first prepare us, change us and then finally bless us with His presence in this life as well as in the life after. The Light leads us from the death of darkness and separation from God to a new eternal life in the presence of God fulfilling the second part of the declaration of John 8:12. We as partakers of His Divine glory are imparted this gift of revealing the glory of the Living Word to others through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Effects of the Light of the world – The created things of the first four days have certain different qualities as compared to the being created on the last two days in exactly the same manner that a believer has with others. During these four days, the earth is changed from being covered under water into a place fit to sustain life, waters are separated into different sources- below the earth, on the earth and above the earth in the sky; plants and trees come up on the earth bearing various types of fruit and herbs to be “food” for those created latter. And the sun, moon and stars are placed in their respective places and orbits. The differences in the two sets of creation are evident for the first crested in the Light of God’s glory possess similar traits as of God–
- There cannot be life without them and the earth, water, fruits and sunlight are essential for living in a similar way as separation from God is death.
- They give without expecting anything in return.
- They have an unchangeable nature till eternity or till changed by God into something new by an act of God.
- Though God has a will but these do not have any will or desires of their own and reflect God’s will to bless His creation through these.
As compared to these the animals and human beings created latter on the fifth and sixth day have life, desires and will of their own, they also have an option to choose what they want and can and do reject God.
How does Lord Jesus fulfill His promise – In His presence as Son of man, Lord Jesus repeats all the acts of various stages of creation in Genesis 1, in restoration of the original state of man from his fallen nature. The first was and even today is the preparation of a man by leading him to the Savior by making him realize his need and thus to seek Him. The second step is creative wherein the old nature is transformed into new through dying to sin and rebirth in Christ in a sinless state to be in the presence of God. He cleanses us and “removes our sins as far away from us as east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). The second is to lead us into His presence in the Holiest of Holies beyond the veil as “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). This fellowship is made available to us while being in the flesh for the Lord opened the way for us by ascending to heaven with His humanly body. This is then translated into eternal life of God’s presence in heaven where He first prepares a “place – a mansion in the Father’s house” and then comes to take us there (John 14:2-4).
Death is separation from God and life is to be in His presence, our Lord Jesus shines as the Light of the world for us and then leads us into eternal life of fellowship with God. He becomes the Light to roll away the curse of darkness from our lives and transform us as light bearers to reflect the same light in our lives to lead others to Him. In Him is newness and fullness of life which is available to all who believe and become children of God (John 1:12).
God has given His Son as a gift to be with us- we have a choice to welcome Him as our Savior!