The name of this blog is “To Live is Christ.” But what is life? We’ve spent a lot of time in Genesis and a bit in Exodus looking at this question. Recently we have entered into John’s gospel to explore what he understood life to be. From John we have learned that Jesus’ life, the life he offers to us, is the divine life of God. Zoe.
First we saw that Jesus himself is life. Next, we saw that Jesus’ life is a new birth. Then we saw that Jesus’ life is bread. Today we will see that Jesus’ life is our light.
Without light, there is no life. That’s why we all scratch and crawl to bend toward light. Something to illuminate the meaning of our lives.
John 1:4-5. 4 In him was life [zoe], and the life [zoe] was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus’ life is union with God- the divine life made available to us by faith as the result of Jesus’ earthly life and death. This is the life that we can have. But how is that also light? And how is it the light of ALL the world?
Most likely John answers this question in verse 5. “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.
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.
Here again, 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 life points to his 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. To put it another way- His psyche points to his zoe.
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. This is a counter cultural life- socially, economically, spiritually- and it is an abundant life.