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Punching through the Darkness
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of classic books like Treasure Island, spent his childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the 19th century. As a boy, Robert was intrigued by the work of the old lamplighters who went about with a ladder and a torch, setting the street lights ablaze for the night. One evening, as young Robert stood watching with fascination, his parents asked him, "Robert, what in the world are you looking at out there?" With great excitement he exclaimed, "Look at that man! He's punching holes in the darkness!"
Jesus' Primary Purpose
With that one statement of childish wonder, Stevenson captured the essence of Jesus’ words in John 8:12. Jesus came into this world and accomplished many great and miraculous wonders, yet his primary purpose was to punch great gaping holes in the darkness that shrouds all of us. He came to be the light to the entire world, and he came to punch holes in your darkness.
Instead of the death, decay, and darkness that we deserve, Jesus gives us life, liberation, and light.
What does it mean for Jesus to punch holes in your darkness? It means that where you are weak or powerless to push against the darkness that closes in, that is the place where he wants to bring light bursting in. Jesus cares about punching holes in your darkness more than you desire for the darkness to go away. Our true hope is not that we can be strong enough to heal our own blindness, but that Jesus actually knows, sees, cares, and is powerful enough to do something about it.
No Matter What
Perhaps your darkness is something that you do or have done. Our rebellion against God brings disorder and decay to our lives. We have this crushing feeling that since we made our mess, we have to deal with it. In the midst of this, you need to hear that no matter what the darkness is, and no matter how much you have contributed to your darkness, Jesus can punch holes in it.
Perhaps your darkness is something that has been done to you. Maybe you are the victim. Maybe somebody trampled your trust, hurt you, or abused you in some way. Jesus wants to punch holes in that darkness.
Jesus came to be the light to the entire world, and he came to punch holes in your darkness.
Maybe your experience of darkness is the hovering weight of your depression or anxiety. Maybe the broken relationships in your life. Maybe you feel trapped. Or maybe your future looks dark and confusing. He wants to punch holes in that darkness, too. We need the One who is the light to cause us to see his light.
Darkness is not the final word on you. It may dominate your feelings right now, or it may come later, but it is not your final condition, because Jesus is a Savior who takes on the darkness so we can have the light. Instead of the death, decay, and darkness that we deserve, Jesus gives us life, liberation, and light.