A couple of thousand years ago, spiritual darkness covered all the places where men lived. There were a few glimmers here and there that kept men from walking off of sin-high cliffs or into sin-hard walls. These glimmers were the law that God planted in the hearts of everyone, along with the scriptures and the prophets (Romans 2:15, Psalm 119:130, Amos 3:7, Hebrews 1:1-2). These three worked in concert to speak the words of God. But men mostly ignored them because their hearts were evil (Jeremiah 17:9). Then one day, a great light entered the world of men (John 1:1-5, John 1:14). The light was a man, and he lit by his example the places where they lived. His name was Jesus. His light shined brightly, and people fled their darkness and flocked to him. Their minds were changed. Then their lives were changed. The whole world began to glow with his light as the people who followed him began to both reflect him, as well as become like him.
Then, as suddenly as he entered the world, he left it. He was murdered by men on a criminal’s cross because they hated what he had to offer. They loved their darkness more than they loved light (John 3:19). The world seemed cold and dark again. People who knew him mourned. They had seen the good of his light and feared they would not see it again. But they were mistaken. His murder had been the fulfillment of a prophecy. He had been crushed for our sins (Isaiah 53:5). He had been killed for our love of darkness. God had placed on him all the wrongs of the world of men, and allowed them to be destroyed when his body was killed (1 Peter 2:24). But those who loved darkness more than light could not understand the brilliance of his final moment. He had modeled love (John 15:13). He had given his life so that others could live. He had engineered a light that could never be extinguished because people would always remember his love.
Three days after Jesus had been murdered, he rose from the dead! A miracle of all miracles! It was perhaps the most beautiful moment in all of human time. People would no longer remember just his love, but they would understand it, and now remember his victory as well. Failure would no longer reign supreme (Romans 6:6). In that beautiful moment he modeled for us victory over sin. The sins of the world did not keep him dead. And if you accept his power, your sins will not keep you dead, either. Allow your sinful self to die and follow Jesus. He will raise a new you. The sin that both failed you, and caused you to fail, will be gone. The darkness that surrounded you will be pushed away with brilliance. Your life will be marked by victory and light. You will begin to be more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).