Jesus is the Word—the “God Said”—who brings light into the world. John alludes to Genesis when he penned these inspired words:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
It is Jesus’ very life—his character, nature and attributes—that is “the light of all people.” God’s eternal light is not something additional to God; rather it is the radiance of who God is. God’s light is the very emanation of God; it is the revelation of his glory. The light spoken into creation was somehow a reflection of God’s eternal light.
John says, “God is light” (1 John 1:5). But why is God light? It is because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God’s light scares, even terrifies us, but only because we are so accustomed to the darkness. Light would also shock a prisoner who finally emerged into the noonday sun after many years of being in a dark and dingy jail cell. The pain that light might inflict on him could be terrifying. The prisoner may even try to shrink back from the light. This is why Jesus says, “All those who do evil hate the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed” (John 3:20). It is fear, the fear of God’s light and the pain it might bring, which cause even some of the most seeming courageous men from being converted.
When Saul saw Christ who was brighter than the sun, he was blinded. “Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything” (Acts 9:8-9). Every true salvation begins with being blinded by the light. Our own ability to see must be removed. It is seeing the world through our own light that causes us to resist God, even though we may think we are following him. When we experience the Life who is Light, we enter into death. It is no coincidence that Saul was blinded for three days, the same amount of time Jesus was in the grave. Saul needed to enter into Christ’s death if he was truly going to see. He had to come to grips with his darkness if the scales were going to fall from his eyes (Acts 9:18).
How many people who profess Christ have really entered into his death? How many have not just come to the cross, but have actually got on the cross? Entering into his death is the beginning, the doorway into life. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:24). If you have not had this experience of losing your life because of his light, cry out to God to save you. As the Scriptures say, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13).