Word from Scotland: When the light is shining, seize it
In these closing verses of John Chapter 12, we are moving closer to the hour of the atoning death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the death of Jesus Christ achieved the exact opposite to what was at first thought.
It looked as if Jesus was on trial and being judged, but in fact it was the world that was being judged and sin dealt with.
It looked as if Jesus Christ was being silenced and overthrown and conquered and defeated and cast out of the way of man for ever. In actual fact, it was the devil who was being overthrown and conquered and defeated.
It looked as if the Cross was the end of the road, as every follower of Jesus forsook him and fled.
Verse 32 – We read, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself”. The cross was not the tragedy it first appeared – it was a triumph. Things were not as they seemed!
Verse 34 – The Jews still have this problem over the Messiah ‘being lifted up’. They could not understand. Why, if he is Messiah, should he be crucified? And today we know they still have massive problems with Isaiah 53 and the prophetic description of the coming Messiah. It is not a nice picture, and, Jesus did not resolve their problem, and will not, until all the Gentiles are in.
Jesus goes right on to say two very important things. The natural state of man is darkness and if you put out the light, man will just go dark. If the light of the world is put out, man just goes darker and darker. Is this not what we are seeing in these present days, as people in our own nation reject Jesus Christ and His Light and His Word? There has been a degree of light since the days of Abraham.
Jesus is making it all so clear – “I am not going to be here much longer. When I go you will revert to darkness.” When they nailed him to the cross even the sun was darkened. Whatever that means, I do not know. It was not an eclipse. An eclipse does not last three hours.
The light of the world was being extinguished by sinful men. What was true when Jesus died on the Cross is true of men and women generally. If men reject Jesus and His Light they will end up in mental and moral and spiritual darkness. And, of course, it is true eternally – in hell it is pitch dark – Jude 13.
How terrible to be in outer darkness perpetually and eternally, especially when a person has had the opportunity to receive the light of Jesus and the mercy and love of Jesus, and to have rejected the lot. When the light is shining, seize it.
When the light of God is shining upon you, live in it. Bathe in it at every opportunity, and the darkness will never envelope you.
Why do people reject? Why do they shut their eyes and close their ears? Why will they not respond? Why do they not believe?
This is why. It is the darkness! What type of thing do people say to us? “Jesus Christ is the way? There are plenty of other ways! Jesus Christ is the truth? How do you know? What proof have you? Jesus Christ gives you life? That is what you say! I will live life to the full my way!”
Isaiah gave us the answers to many of these questions some 700 years before they arose. God has blinded the people’s eyes and closed their minds. God said to Isaiah, “The more you preach, the less they will believe”. Now, that was in a certain situation in Isaiah’s days, and Jeremiah experienced it, as did many of the other prophets – and Jesus also experienced a similar reaction.
This is a true but sad lesson which God teaches us, and it is particularly sad for pastors and teachers of His Holy Word.
In certain situations, the more truth you give certain people, the more their minds will close. Every message you hear is either making you receive more and more of God’s Holy Truth, and creating a hunger and thirst for more, or it makes you harder. It is either making you softer and more gracious faithful, and more open – or harder and harder.
The interesting thing is no one remains neutral.