“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
Isaiah 9:2, NIV
What a graphic expression is contained in this verse of those who are living in the world, but who have no knowledge of Christ – they are people who are ‘living in the land of the shadow of death’. For it is indeed the shadow of eternal death that hovers over the lives of each and every one of us until we have been redeemed from the control of the god of this world and have entered into our freedom and destiny.
In Chapter 9, Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah and verses 6 and 7 especially are being read at carol services all over the world in this Christmas season. But the full significance of those precious words, which describe the Babe of Bethlehem as “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” can only be fully appreciated by realising that the Babe of Bethlehem is also the Light of the World, and it is only He that can penetrate the darkness of a world that has given itself over to sin. It is only the Light of Jesus that can dispel the shadow of death.
The most important day of my life was when I knelt by my bedside with my father and gave my life to Jesus. The light of life entered in and even though I was only nine years old, I knew that the light which Isaiah talks about here as having dawned upon the world, was shining in my heart. An extraordinary transaction had taken place. The Babe of Bethlehem had become the light of my world.
As Christmas approaches, may I encourage you to read again the Christmas story from the Scriptures. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you His truth and if you are still living in the land of the shadow of death, then let this Christmas be the year when you come out of the shadows into the glorious light and freedom that has shone down the years from the Babe of Bethlehem.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for coming into a world that was living under the shadow of death. Thank You that Your love was such that You came to live and to die for sinful man. Help me, Lord, to so live for You day by day, that Your light will shine through me to others, and that there will be those who are in the shadow of death who will want to open the doors of their heart to the One who is the Light of the World. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.