As you walk through the canyon you can’t help but take in the surroundings. The canyon’s immensity and beauty that surround you are only realized because of the light. In the third part of this series on Christ in the canyon, we unravel Christ as the light.
You can read part one and two of this series here:
Jesus Is The Light
In the book of John we see Christ give seven “I Am” statements, which mirror the statement to Moses from the burning bush. In his second of seven, Jesus declares himself as the light of the world.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” – John 8:12
Not only is Christ the canyon itself, but he is also the light that illuminates the canyon. It seems to be a strange spiritual paradox of sorts. The Spirit of Christ is also that which illuminates himself to us.
The canyon at night and the canyon during the day are at two different ends of a vast spectrum. Not only do the look and feel of the canyon differ, but their life differs as well.
We can try and navigate the canyon through the reflection of light (the moonlight), but it pales in comparison to traversing the canyon in the midst the light of day. The moonlight can represent your knowledge, doctrines, traditions, or your own strength.
Unless we rest in knowing that the best traveling comes by that of the daylight, we will fail. We cannot traverse the canyon of Christ by means of our own strength and frontal lobe knowledge. The canyon of Christ can only be traversed by means of experiential life lived through His light, the daylight.
The Light Illuminates The Way
If you have tried to follow a trail in the dark, you know it can be next to impossible, even futile at times. As a hunter I have walked trails both before dawn and well after sunset. Without a light it is extremely difficult. Even a little light makes all the difference.
Living the Christian life is about allowing the light to lead the way. Paul said, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ [the light] lives in me.”
The Israelites walked by the pillar of fire (the light of God) to lead their way. Jesus said he could only do what he saw the Father doing. He lived by the light that illuminated his way. Christ is the Word (John 1:14), and his word illuminates our way. David once again says,
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105
When we walk by the light of Christ’s life, it removes the fear of what we will encounter on the path before us. When you are walking in the canyon in the dark there is no telling what you will encounter: coyotes, bobcats, and even the occasional mountain lion ventures into the Texas panhandle. His light is what prepares the feast before us when we walk in the valley of the shadow of death. Fear of the darkest parts of the canyon is removed when his light illuminates the way.
The Light Brings Life
Natural biology tells us that the majority of life needs sunlight. This is why most animals are active during the day, and how plants can create chlorophyll through photosynthesis. Light brings life to the canyon. The summer sun brings all the plants in to bloom, and the animals to life. If there is not light, there is no life…in the canyon and in our lives.
The light of Christ brings life to our walk with Him. His light illuminates our path like the children of Israel, and it charges our spirit like the sun for superman. He is the vine and we are the branches. We bear fruit (the overabundance of life) because of the light of Christ.
The next time you are in the canyon, whether you are standing on a trail just as the sun is cresting the lip and illuminating the grounds, or you are walking the trail in the noonday sun, or even still, adventuring through the park as the shadows lengthen and the sun makes it way below the horizon, admire the light the light for just a moment. The light is Christ. It illuminates the way and brings life to every part of the canyon, and to our lives.