“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
On the first day of creation God made light and divided light from darkness. On the fourth day He created lights in the heavens to bear light to the world. He created a greater light to rule the day and a lesser light to rule the night. The result was a world in which there was no darkness, only greater light and lesser light. For this was God’s creation, and “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5).
Light remains a feature of today’s world–so persistent that even the heaviest clouds cannot completely shut it out, and even the darkest nights are not completely without it.
But another kind of darkness did invade God’s creation–spiritual darkness, the kind of darkness that exists in the heart and soul where God does not dwell.
That darkness was brought into the world by Satan, whom God had expelled from His presence, reserving him for judgment in chains of darkness (2 Peter 2:4). Satan was successful in introducing darkness into God’s world of light when he convinced Eve and then Adam to disobey God and turn away from His light. Since then this world has been a kingdom ruled by the prince of darkness.
We see that darkness, that absence of God, in the world today. It surrounds us.
We see it in the godless conduct and hear it in the godless speech of the world. We see it in the perversion and distortion of the truth spread by false teachers.
And–most appalling of all–we see the darkness in our own hearts, because we too have a sinful nature inherited from Adam. We see darkness in the evil thoughts and desires that arise in our minds, thoughts just as dark as the words and deeds that offend us when we are confronted with them from outside us. We often desire what God has forbidden; we often envy our neighbor and covet what he has; we often are bitter and do not want to forgive those who sin against us.
The darkness in our world and in ourselves threatens to swallow us.
But the celebration of the birth of Christ reminds us that we have also been delivered from the kingdom of darkness.
When Christ was born, light came again into this dark world. He destroyed the power of darkness by atoning for sin, which is the source of darkness in our world and in ourselves. When Jesus died on the cross, darkness covered the land for three hours. Our Savior took our sins on Himself, and endured the horrible darkness of being forsaken by God His Father.
And God was satisfied with His sacrifice and declared our sins forgiven when He raised Jesus from the dead.
The darkness of the crucifixion gave way to the glorious light of the resurrection. The night of sin, death, and hell is over, and now we live in the eternal day of the Gospel of forgiveness, life, and salvation.
This is why we celebrate Christmas with such great joy. We know that the Child born of Mary is the Light of the world.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14).
–Pastor John Klatt