Jesus is the light of the world. John tells us all about that in his gospel. But the most striking picture of this actually comes on the last pages of our Bibles.
Revelation 21-22 give us a picture of the world set to rights, of the world as it was meant to be. God’s justice has finally been satisfied. He has done away with death, with evil, with sorrow, with pain, with every effect of the curse. He has wiped every tear from the eyes of his people. Now God’s people dwell with him in a new heavens and a new earth. And God’s holy city, the New Jerusalem, comes down to earth. And Jesus is the light of that city:
“And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.” (Revelation 21:23-25)
Isn’t that an amazing description? We actually see this imagery twice at the end of Revelation. The concept of Jesus as the light of the world will take on an even greater significance at the end of the world.
Here we see echoes of Genesis 1 of the light scattering the darkness. We see echoes of John 1 of Jesus chasing away the darkness and not being overcome by it. We get a picture of a world in which there is no sun, moon, or stars. Yet this is a world without darkness. A world without night. Why? Because Jesus is the light of that place.
Jesus is now the light of the world. And when we finally see him face to face and dwell with him forever, he will be the light of the world.
This image of the light of Jesus filling the earth ought to flood our dreams. It ought to inspire our actions. This is the hope for which we are living. It is our privilege now to be set ablaze in Jesus, to bear that holy flame in our very being, glowing with the light of life. One day it will fill the earth directly, making even the sun and moon embarrassingly inadequate and unnecessary. But right now the lamp through which Jesus sheds his light is us, his church. A city on a hill.