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Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose of Luke 1:79
These images of light are powerful because they are so ingrained in us. For most of us, though, we are rather oblivious to the sunrise and sunset. I do not mean that we do not know that the sun rises everyday, but perhaps this awareness has lessened due to electric lighting. We do all know that the sunrise happens everyday, right? Everyday has both the presence of darkness and light. The world would change in a flash if it didn’t. Life is sustained because of the warmth, power and light from the sun.
The secular world attempts to strip God from the creation of the two lights that He created (Gen 1) along with its inherent powerful prophesy, but they, like all of us, for the time being, benefit from the sun and from Christ’s first coming. And so we have forces of light and darkness combatting with each other. If it was only darkness, certainly mankind would have long ago killed off each other, or God would have not saved the eight on Noah’s ark. The light brings hope, warmth and life while darkness carries its hidden, deceitful, scheming plan, much like a black hole attempts to swallow up light.
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Let us look at two passages to give us a better understanding of this Light.
17 And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day (Gen 1:17-19).
First, we look at the Jewish person’s thinking of day and light for they are intricately related. The Hebrew day starts with evening, that is, in darkness, and ends with the light. This is the redemptive message built into understanding given by the Law, the Old Testament. Just as we read in the earlier verse, the Sunrise came in the darkness and the sun increasingly rose, shining into every dark crevice. This is shown by the creation account found in Genesis 1.
There was an evening and a morning. In other words, first there was darkness and then the light came. God has used creation to shape our concepts of His redemptive work in this world. And so these images become like a Gospel tract that we read each morning, dramatically reminding us of God’s greater work which we desperately need.
Think of the daily newspaper that you read when you get up: filled with reports of gunfire, madness, power rape, insults, court cases, and so forth–all darkness. But then, the sun rises and casts it glow on each day, “The Light has come on high to fully shine on all our darkness.
It is true that the sun rises daily and slowly travels across the sky, but the earlier section reminds us that though this daily prophecy regularly appears it reminds us that there is only one day, one kingdom, where Christ has come once, rose and rising until the light reaches the ends of the world. Then Jesus Christ will again come, closing this temporary age for the eternal one!