John 1:4-5. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Without light, there is no life. That's why we all, like a plant, bend toward light. We’re looking for something to illuminate the meaning of our lives.
Jesus' life is union with God. It is the divine life made available to us by faith as the result of Jesus' earthly life and death. Jesus is the source of all life. He is your creator and sustainer of your human life. But in John’s gospel we are introduced to a new kind of life. The Greek word is zoe. This is the unique word for the eternal, spiritual, life of God. This is the life that we can have. This zoe life that Jesus offers is also our light?
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 [zoe].”
This amazing statement by Jesus takes place during the Hebrew's Festival of Tabernacles or Booths; a reminder of God's faithfulness during the wilderness years. During that time God guided the nation of Israel by a fiery pillar- a giant light if you will.
Notice that Jesus calls himself the light for the whole world (not just Israel). This is a massive claim. "There are no other lights." "I'm it." "I am the only light for everyone on this planet." "I am THE light of THE life."
Jesus doesn't just shine a light by describing real life. He IS the light and he IS the life. His human life points to his eternal life. Did you catch that? The light of his earthly life shines a light pointing to the divine, eternal life that he offers to all mankind by faith. But how? How does Jesus’ life point to eternal life?
John answers this question in verse 5 above. "The darkness has not overcome it" is likely a reference to Christ's victory over death and darkness by the power of the resurrection. Christ's resurrection serves as a light for the world. A beacon pointing to the goodness, grace, and power of God. Now there is a light, that the darkness can never overcome.
There are many things that promise us and point us toward "real life." Cars, insurance, vacations, clothes- these are all sold with the promises of a better life if you buy them. But only the life that Christ offers will change your human life to the life of a true image bearer. And most importantly this life is a gift. It is not an abundance of your life that Jesus offers. It is his life which brings abundance. It is his forgiveness, his righteousness, his acceptance, his love, his power, all granted to you by grace through faith.
Jesus isn’t offering to show you how to live your life in a better way. He isn’t asking you to give him your life. No. He is offering you his life. A life beyond this life. Now that’s the best Christmas present ever.