In Diwali - it is time to remember the light of the world

We are in the middle of the Diwali festival season. Millions of lights are lit throughout India, but also around the world. Fireworks are set off and the festival is full of joyful celebration. It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil, and many gather together and share ancient stories of light triumphing over darkness.

Many Indians know this ancient prayer:”Lead me from falsehood to truth. Lead me from darkness to light. Lead me from death to immortality”[1]. These verses cry out in hope that one day the light will win over the darkness. You may reading this from a Hindu, Buddhist or Jain background. If you are, Happy Diwali. It’s an amazing festival.

But I wonder if you know that the Bible also has a festival of light? Every year the Jewish people celebrated the feast of tabernacles. There they remembered when God saved their people out of slavery in Egypt. And then He led them for 40 years, day and night through the desert. During the day, he went before them in a pillar of cloud. At night, a blazing pillar of light led them through the darkness. During this journey they lived in tents, or ‘tabernacles’, in the desert. That’s why it’s called the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, סֻּכּוֹת, in Hebrew).

During the time of Jesus, it was a time of great and joyful celebration in Jerusalem. The Jewish writings say, ‘He who has not seen the joy of the place during this festival has never in his life seen joy!’
Four huge lamps were lit in the temple courts. They were 22m, or 7 storeys, high! And it’s written that ‘men of devotion and good works danced through the night, holding burning torches in their hands and singing songs and praises to God.’ The orchestra would cut loose, and the light from the temple would glow all around Jerusalem.

Can you imagine the joy and celebration and light that bathed everything in its glow? At this moment, Jesus stood up and said, ‘I am the Light of the world.’[2] Not I am one of the lights. I am the Light. And not ‘I am the light of the Jews’, but ‘I am the light of the world.’ This was a huge claim because the Jews only saw light as coming from God himself. They used to sing to God, ‘With you is the fountain of life. In your light, do we see light.’[3] So for Jesus to say ‘I am the light’, he is saying that he is God.

But this is not just about being confident in the dark. It’s about spiritual light – life that will go on forever. One day the light will destroy the darkness.

But it’s not just about seeing the light. But coming to the light. Jesus goes on, ‘Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Many of us know that the light exists. But in our busy lives we don’t seek it. Jesus says, “anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I have been a follower of Jesus for about 23 years. I asked Jesus into my life when I was about 12 years old. And one of my earliest memories is that I was no longer afraid of the dark. Jesus was with me. There was no longer any reason to be afraid. If you are reading this and fear the darkness, or any demonic forces, there is good news. Jesus invites you to come to Him, and walk in his Light.

But this is not just about being confident in the dark. It’s about spiritual light – life that will go on forever. One day the light will destroy the darkness.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about Jesus. Maybe you think he’s just a good teacher. But what normal man have you heard say, “I am the light of the world?” Either he is a very arrogant man, or he is more than a man.
Maybe you believe in many gods, and you think, “Jesus is one of the gods”. I encourage you to get to know Jesus. See if he is true. The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Don’t take my word for it. Pray to him. See if he answers your prayers. See if he dispels your darkness, and gives you the light of life.

During the darkest time of my life, through severe illness, I felt Jesus standing beside me, giving me strength. Giving me light. Telling me that he would always be with me. I can’t explain it but the joy of knowing Jesus was greater than my fear. For I knew I had the light of life. Even though I am healed now, my hope is greater than this life.

If you have hope in your heart that one day good will triumph over evil – one day light will triumph over darkness – that is not an accident. God has put that longing in your heart. And Jesus is calling you to find the answer to that hope in Him. He is saying, “I am the light that all these festivals are pointing to. I am the light that will conquer the darkness.”

And he proved it! Jesus promised that one day he will absorb all the darkness and sin, and shame in the world and destroy it forever. And when he died on the cross, darkness covered the earth for 3 hours. But in the morning of the third day, he rose to life again. Like the light of a new day, Jesus rose and defeated the darkness.
And now he lives forever. He is the victory of good over evil. He is the one who answers the prayer, “Lead me from falsehood to truth. Lead me from darkness to light. Lead me from death to immortality.” Come and see if his words are true: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

If you would like to know more about Jesus or join a discovery group, email [email protected]

[1] Brhadaranyaka Upanishad – I.iii.28
[2] John 8:12
[3] Psalm 36:9

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Pray that the light of the world might be seen.

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