There is a drumbeat that runs throughout the Scriptures from the first page to the last. Light. Light. Light. The dawning of a great light is the Bible's central theme.
From the first page the Scripture's great story begins with God's first blessing: "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." (Genesis 1:2-3) The opening scene of the book of God's blessings begins with light.
But God's prophets tell of still another blessing and another great light:
"And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness. But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone." (Isaiah 8:22-9:2)
The Gospel writers repeat the refrain:
"And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
'The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.'
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'” (Matthew 4:13-17)
Upon the gentiles a new light has dawned. The foretold one. Christ, the light of the Gentiles. And John the Evangelist repeats the theme again, making it still more plain:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world." (John 1:1-9)
The light of the world has dawned in our Lord Christ. Where has this light dawned? Paul teaches us, echoing the opening lines of the Scriptures, that in our hearts this great light has broken; a new and glorious dawn:
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)
And how shall we respond to this great dawning light within our own hearts? Paul makes plain to us, as he touches again upon the theme in the letter to the Romans:
"Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." (Romans 13:11-14)
Indeed a great light has dawned in our hearts, and we are made a new creation; our hearts themselves made new. How shall we live if this is true? We must live as those in the light, having set aside all of the deeds of darkness. How shall we do this? We must turn toward this light with the eye of our mind. In the 2 Corinthians passage quoted above, the light is referred to as "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." We must turn our mind to Christ - to the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. To the extent that we are mindful of only the affairs of our outward eyes – our worries, our cares, our riches, food and drink - our hearts will be choked. But if we will turn our eyes inward and gaze upon, contemplate the glory of Christ, our hearts will be enlightened, unburdened and begin to soften.
You do this through the scriptures, by taking time to consider the wisdom of Christ's parables. You do this by meditating upon the bloody death he died for you. Consider the deep love for you encompasses in his final words from the cross. Have you sinned? Consider his presence in the moment of your sin, not to judge but to forgive and receive you back. Thank Him. And consider the glory of his love and patience for you.
Where does this drumbeat end? What is the final note in the scripture's theme of light? It is carried through to the final page:
"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it," (Revelation 21:22-24)
We must meditate upon the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ the Lamb now, cultivate our taste for it now, learn to rest in it now, for by so doing we are fitting ourselves for heaven; allowing the Lord Christ Himself to fit us for heaven. Resting in, meditating upon, and wondering at this great light is a chief occupation of the redeemed souls in heaven.
Have you seen this light? Has it dawned in your heart? Search the Scriptures that you may discover it for it is their great theme from the first page to the last.