If you know me, you have heard me rail against the cold weather. To add insult to injury, it is now the season of cold and dark. As of right this minute, we have only nine hours of daylight. I think that’s why I take such delight in Christmas light displays. They completely change my outlook on the darkness. The lights transform the long hours of darkness into a swirl of warmth, color, and cheer. They also point us to the reason for the season- the Light of Christ has come!
Symbolic Meaning of Light
The custom of Christmas lights isn’t biblical, but there is much in the season that points to “light.” Light symbolically points to Jesus as the light of the world. Jesus came as a light came into our dark world at the perfect time. Rejoice! We never need to walk in darkness again.♥
Did you know that the word “light” is on the very first page of Scripture as well as the last? From the creation of light in Genesis 1:3 to the heavenly light described in Revelation 22:5, the word light appears well over 200 times.
Symbolic Meaning of Darkness
Biblically speaking, darkness symbolizes sin and spiritual corruption, and in contrast, light is the opposite- holiness, purity and redemption.
Here’s something to ponder… darkness isn’t a physical “thing”- it’s merely the absence of light. In the darkness, we become disoriented. We can’t see where we are or which direction to go.
I come down the stairs most mornings in complete darkness, and more than once, I have slipped on a step. I have come down those stairs for 30 years and know them well. But in the pitch black of early morning, I’m handicapped by the darkness.
To dispel darkness, we need light. We can’t shovel, push, vacuum, or blow the dark out of a room. We need light to banish the dark and light our path.
God Said “Let There Be Light”
Jesus was with God and was God when they made all things. They spoke the light into being before they created the sun and moon. They separated the light from the darkness to make day and night. We cannot yet understand how this took place. In whatever manner God accomplished this, He said it was “good.”
God used light to illuminate our physical world to bring life to the plants and for us to survive.
Likewise, God bestowed spiritual light to give us everlasting life when he gave us Jesus. Jesus’ spiritual light separates us from the darkness of death. We walk in His light and a new way of life.
Be sure to pin me for later!
Bible Verses About Light
In Psalm 104:2 NLT, David describes the Lord as “dressed in a robe of light.” This reveals the supernatural bright glory of God.
It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? His glory is described as “the display of His divine attributes and perfections”¹ according to my Bible dictionary. God shows Himself as an extraordinarily bright light to catch our attention. There truly is no one like Him!
Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus as “a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me.” Acts 26:13 NIV. This happened about noon- imagine how bright this light of Christ must have been if it could “outshine” the light of the sun.
It reminds me of the description of Jesus at His transfiguration. “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:2 NIV
I’m trying to picture this in my mind…What must heaven be like??
John describes the perfection and pure holiness of God: “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:4-5 NLT
Jesus is the creator of life and His own light removes the darkness of sin from our lives. Living within His light keeps us from stumbling in the dark. Darkness will always fail in its quest to break us down when we stay focused on His light.
I Am the Light of the World
Jesus boldly proclaimed: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV
Just as God used light to guide the Israelites, Jesus is also the light that guides us in our lives today. Jesus’ light of salvation is the one thing that can free us from the darkness of our sin.
The Word of God is light- a lamp to our feet and a light for our paths. Ps119:105 NIV
We stumble through the darkness of this world, tripping over that which would keep us away from God. But His Word shines brightly to illuminate our path. It shines on the roots and stones that might trip us up and shows us a clear way to walk.
What roots and stones do you trip over?
The Christmas Star
God supernaturally provided a brightly lit star to lead the Magi to Jesus after His birth. They showed a responsive spirit of obedience to follow the light that led them to Christ. These Wise Men found him after a long journey and bowed down to worship and adore Him.
They followed the light with the expectation of finding a king. The Magi bowed in humility when they met Jesus. They gave their sacrificial gifts fit for a king.
Do you follow the light of Christ daily? How so?
How far do you go to seek Him? By which method of travel (prayer, study, worship, etc)? How many miles do you go to find Him?
When you come before him, what gifts do you bring?
The Light of Christmas
The Messiah Prophesied
•We celebrate Christmas as the coming of the Light into our lives. The birth of Jesus fulfilled the Biblical prophecy: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. “ Isaiah 9:2.
Isaiah foretold the coming of our Prince of Peace and the light he would bring to our dark world.
•Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for consecration to the Lord in fulfillment of the law. Simeon, a man filled with the Holy Spirit was waiting in the temple. God had promised him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Simeon scooped Jesus into his arms and gave thanks to God. “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32 NIV
Good News! Jesus brought salvation not only for the Jews but to the world, to all people.
Christmas- A Celebration of Light
The metaphor of light is a central theme of our Christmas celebration. It celebrates a sharp dividing line between the age of darkness and sin, with an age of light and salvation. It was a pivotal point in the history of the world.
What should our response be to the birth of our King? His birth brings a light that completely dispels darkness. His light gives us eternal life- a Christmas gift from our King to all mankind!
Have you opened this gift? Will you give this gift?
Living as Light
Paul gives us a charge in Ephesian 5:8 NLT: “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”
Not only has the Light of the World brought His light into our lives, but we are then made vessels to introduce the Light of the World to others.
Read more on the Light of the World and how to let it shine.
How do you let your light shine?
When do you hide your light?
Think about these things as you light your candles, turn on your Christmas lights, or go to a candlelight service this Christmas season. Be reminded as we celebrate the promise kept; the Light of Christ has come!
- Zondervan’s Compact Bible Dictionary (1993). Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan Publishing House