In the Tolkien trilogy Lord of the Rings frightful darkness was growing in Middle Earth. The evil quest for power imperiled all creatures. How are we doing today? The 20th Century was the bloodiest in history. One reason for that is, so many more people populated the earth than ever before. What does that tell us? The more people the more darkness. And is there perhaps something to learn here, like, man does not do well on his own and needs help?
Oh, being blessed with minds and reason, abundant diffuse resources, and reliable physical laws, material progress occurs, if spotty. How beneficial it might be if we understood that every new material progression results from a discovery of another of God’s decreed natural laws, and that such realization should send us to seeking God’s spiritual laws as well. But how many more of these physical laws are there to be discovered which are now beyond even our imagination? This, while in the realm of the spirit where God has already given us all the answers (II Pet. 1:3), we reject those in pursuit of “pleasure,” which takes us into callous destruction of life in abortion and systematic extermination of those not approved or judged problematic, or into sexual depravities and transmitted diseases, destructive addictions, inventions that publicly spew filth, and hatreds of all sorts. But why not do these, as our intellectuals give us explanations making life a mere accident, eliminating not only purpose in life, but morality. The appeal of that is it theoretically frees them from answering one day to a Higher Power. What a paradox, that light is available while man keeps cranking up the darkness.
On the other hand, what wonderful claims were made 2,000 years ago of a Man who lived then. He was more than just man. He was Deity come to earth, born and dwelling in human form (Jn. 1:1,14). And it is not contrary to reason that true Deity certainly would have that power. This was Jesus, of whom it was declared, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (Jn . 1:4). Oh, you mean Darwin, Nietzsche, Marx, Sagan, and Dawkins aren’t? Well, whose ideas do you think are ultimately responsible for the dark moral and social maladies noted above, and more?
Here is Jesus, born of a virgin, pure in life, profound in teaching, and raised from the dead, the last attesting the validity of the rest. And there were witnesses who wrote of, and died as martyrs because of their testimony, of this resurrection. They affirmed such while it could still be tested, as hundreds of witnesses still lived who could be questioned about that death, burial and resurrection (I Cor. 15:6). And no other explanation comes anywhere near explaining all the facts related to that empty tomb. Thus if Jesus, validated by his resurrection, said he is the light of the world (Jn. 8:12), he is. Rejecting that light results in our darkness.
This Jesus, this Light, says, “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28). He can lead us out of the maladies of men seeking power as Sauron sought the “ring” to consolidate his dark power over Middle Earth. He can deliver us from the guilt of any of those works of darkness we may have fallen into. He can in love make us clean and reconcile us to a Holy Righteous God.. He can lead us into an eternal life where the power seeking of man is ended and unwanted, where the pinnacle of existence is attained. Even present religion is stained with man’s quest for power as men impose their wills upon others. Jesus shows us the light - his way to pardon, and to life, and his way to serve. How wonderful the call, “Come unto me.” How blessed the response, “I will.”