“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” Psalm 36:9
Light and Life. Elemental expressions of the glory of God and His goodness to mankind. Light and life stretch from the first words of Genesis to the final words of Revelation, illuminating and animating the pages of Scripture with the warm vitality or hope and the bright energy of holiness. Unceasingly, from the very mouth of God, we have seen light spoken into void and darkness of heaven and earth and life breathed into the death and stillness of mankind and all living things. (Genesis 1:3 & 2:7) Every breath is a gift of life, thus everything that has breath should praise the Lord. (Psalm 150:5)
At the matrix of Scripture and human history, Jesus comes to us as both light and life. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12. Jesus is the fountain of abundant life. (John 10:10). Jesus is the light of the world, who gives sight to our blindness. (John 9:5-6). Let’s expound on the life that flows and the light that shines from Jesus our Lord.
Jesus is the fountain of all life. In the New Testament Greek, there are three different words which are translated into the english language as life. Each has unique and specific meaning and purpose.Three Types Of Life In Christ:
- Bios- The Natural Life: The physical, material life from which the word biology comes from. All things were created by Him, all things are sustained through Him and “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16 and Acts 17:28). Like a puppet without string, every living thing would simply cease to live or move without the life-giving grace that flows freely over all creation. In his groundbreaking classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis describes this Bios life as base, foundational life of all creation. While it is beautiful in its origin and design, it is broken, empty and flawed in its outcome as those who exist only in the Bios plane of life will never be satisfied by the accumulation of material resources, gradually becoming less happy with his or her existence, feeling a deeper yearning for a joy that cannot be found in the Bios realm.
- Psuche- The Soul Life: The human soul, which is a culmination of the mind, emotion and will, is a different source of life and is essentially what separates mankind from all of the other animated creatures of the bios. The greek word Psuche is where our word psychology comes from. This “soul-life” is what Jesus speaks to when He said, “For whoever wants to save his life (Psuche) will lose it, but whoever loses his life (Psuche) for My sake will find it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:25-26. Without argument, our culture today is experiencing a Soul Life (Psuche) Crisis, with depression, anxiety, suicide, identity dysphoria and many more Soul Life issues crippling the masses with unprecedented devastation. Jesus is the only lasting source of hope and restoration for the Psuche of a man or woman, but He cannot provide His deepest healing to our soul without first opening up the fountain to the third form of life… Zoé.
- Zoé- The Spiritual Life: The streams of eternal life flow only from the Gospel work of Jesus which recreates and regenerates a spiritually dead man or woman by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. Zoé is the uncreated, unending, undeniably divine source of life that is imputed to us through Christ- “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life (Zoé)I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. We can live this Zoé life, because Jesus is the very source of Zoé. “In him was life (Zoé), and the life (Zoé) was the light of men.” John 1:4. Returning to C.S. Lewis and his argument in Mere Christianity, Lewis contends that the emptiness that grows in the man who has only sought to fill his material needs and physical hungers (bios) will eventually develop a deep yearning within him for the eternal streams of joy which can only be found through Zoé. The Zoé life changes us inwardly, as our hungers move from sensual to spiritual, from selfish to selfless by way of the new nature and divine life source which comes from an abiding relationship with Jesus, the True Vine (see John 15). Only when a man or woman receives “the free gift of God, (which) is eternal life (Zoé) in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:23) can he or she ever feel truly “alive.”
Jesus is the light who gives light. Only by His light can we see light, or even recognize that we had once only known darkness. Before there was anything, there was nothing, and out of that nothingness, Jesus spoke light into creation. “Let there be light” Jesus said over the darkness which was over the face of the deep, “and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3). It is necessary to identify that it was the person of Jesus, in the Trinity, which was given the responsibility of speaking all of creation (firstly light) into existence (see Colossians 1:16 & John 1:1-3). For it is Jesus who spoke into existence both physical/visible light (electromagnetic radiation of a frequency perceptible to the eye), and metaphysical/spiritual light (the illumination of the soul making perceptible the Kingdom of God). Jesus is the light who makes the light of God perceptible to the eyes of our souls.The Old Testament prophet Isaiah, spoke in anticipation of this divine light, saying, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 (see also Matthew 4:16). As the modern proverb goes, “The last to discover water is the fish,” so it is true for the man who has known nothing but darkness. The natural man (bios) has no innate ability to perceive the spiritual light of God without the illuminating power of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 2:9-10). When Christ regenerates (gives spiritual life to) a man or woman who comes to Him by grace through faith, Jesus delivers him or her “from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” Colossians 1:13. Those that reject the Gospel of life and light which Jesus freely offers will remain in “the gloom of utter darkness” forever (Jude 1:13).The gloom of utter darkness only accentuates the “marvelous light” which comes from Christ (see 1 Peter 2:9). We cannot fully glory in the light of Jesus until we have been called out of the shame of darkness. This is the miracle of Jesus the light of the world… by His light we see all other light. The light of God, which gives hope, meaning and victory to every darkened season is only visible to those who have been given the light of Christ. The light that shines within you, that makes you a beacon of love, peace, refuge and joy like a city on a hill is only visible because you have been given the light of Christ (see Matthew 5:14-16). You can only “be the light” because you have been given the light.
Jesus is life and light. Soak in the fountain of life. Step out of the shadows into the light.