Take a look at this:
Pictured left is (almost) the top of the city of Kalispell, Montana. It’s taken from Lonepine State Park and it was just days after arriving to this beautiful Northwestern city with my brother in 2008.
It’s rather typical – at least for young men like us – to assess a new environment and immediately want to get to the top. Think about it. You’re on a hike. The trail bends slightly to expose an overlook to the deep ravine and what do you do? You approach the edge. It’s natural to want to be on the top. To reach the highest point. To say, “I did it!”
As a child, I recall visiting New York City several times. Each time with a desire to climb a new skyscraper. I remember standing on the sidewalk outside of the Empire State Building and looking up! The building is so tall you can’t see the top from the ground! And, of course, what follows?
“Let’s go to the top!”
It’s an internal desire of mankind’s to want to reach a little further. Consider this short list of man’s epic climbs:
In May of 1953, two climbers reach the top of Mt. Everest (the world’s tallest mountain peak),
In July of 1969, an American astronaut becomes the first to climb out onto the surface of the moon, and
In May of 1872, the first American woman climbs the political ladder and runs for the office of the US President! (Most people tend to forget the achievement of Victoria Woodhull).
In Montana, the “top” is considered to be Granite Peak, measuring over 12,800 feet in elevation! This unique mountain was the last to ever be conquered due to its unpredictable weather patterns and technical climbing.
For the vertically inclined, much of the above information may be helpful in accomplishing some new (and adventurous) goals. And, while this may be the beginning of establishing some new “tops” in our lives, the important question is: where is Jesus in all of it?
Is He at the top?
Consider, for just a minute, how you began your day. What was the first thing you noticed? Your alarm clock? Your child crawling in bed with you? Your dog or cat? The sound of an automatic coffee maker?
Chances are, as we are approaching the Summer season, no matter what your first activity was, you woke up with the sunlight.
God begins His love-letter to us (the Bible) in Genesis with the following:
“Let there be light”, and there was light. And God saw the light and called it good, and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day and the darkness Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Three take-home truths about this passage in Genesis include:
1) God created Heaven, Earth, Light and Time.
2) The Earth had no form, prior – and, still, at this point in time.
3) God simply SPOKE everything into existence.
Notice how there’s no mention of the sun, or the stars, or the moon. Just light. In fact, it’s not till the fourth day that God created the sun, stars, and moon! So, LIGHT predates the sun!
Now, consider John’s record of the Gospel. Turn to John 8:12.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.“
What-truly-is the source of life? The SUN or the SON?
Now, let’s take a break from science, and talk diction (yes, words).
Protoevangelism. Do you fancy a guess to it’s definition?
PROTO means “first,” or “the earliest form of,” and,
EVANGELISM means “delivering the Gospel (the good news).”
So, it literally means, “the first occurrence of the Gospel.”
Many Christians tend to consider the absolute first occurrence of the Gospel to be as early as Genesis 3:15.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and your shall bruise His heel.”
There is certainly much to say about this passage, but for now we’re just going to focus on the promise within. This is God speaking to the serpent (Satan), who just lied and deceived Adam and Eve. God is referring to the coming of The Messiah. However, many Jewish scholars find “protoevangelism” even earlier!
Then God said, “Let there be light;” and there was light.
In Aramaic, the word for light is ‘nahora.’ Nahora is considered to be one of the secret names of The Messiah by these early Rabbis.
Are they incorrect in applying the name Nahora (light) to Jesus?
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
In Him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men.
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
“The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory.”
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
Remember, in Genesis, God divided the darkness from the light and called it the first day. And, ever since we’ve had the same thing happen. Each day is signified by the arrival of the sun’s light. Therefore, everyday begins with “the Light.” It’s part of God’s natural order!
How do your days begin?
Do you thank God for the LIGHT (LIFE) of your day?
Notice how God, in His creation of things, created light and not darkness. There is no darkness, only the absence of light. Death is not the opposite of life. It is simply the absence of it which is why when Jesus tells us HE is the life (John 11:25), He is also reiterating that there is no life outside of Him.
To be absent Jesus, is to be absent life.
The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
The word for “life” found in Job is also the same Hebrew word found in Genesis 2:7:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
“Khah-e,” is the Hebrew word for “life.” And, interestingly, it is plural.
Yes, God gave us two lives: 1) Spiritual and 2) Physical.
When Adam sinned, he died spiritually. This is clarified in Ephesians 2:1,
And you [He made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins.
Therefore, the light of day should be a reminder that Jesus is here! He is sharing His light (life) with you! Be thankful!
Just as a new day begins with sun light, new life begins with Son Light!