This time of year, where I live, the sun doesn’t rise until almost 8:30 am. By 4:30 in the afternoon, the sun sets and darkness falls.

Yet, a darkness greater than the lack of sunlight holds this world hostage. Tales of violence and injustice fill the evening news. Deceit and malice creep into relationships. The blackness of sin lurks in every human heart.

So, when Isaiah spoke the prophecy quoted above, hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, his words provided a spark of hope. A Redeemer would buy back His people. A Savior would provide a final sacrifice for sin.

Incredibly, the Messiah would not only rescue Israel — God’s chosen people. He would also save Gentiles! Those previously left out would be included.

Simeon, in the temple, confirmed Isaiah's prophecy: the baby Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. He said, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).

Jesus would save His people from their sins. He invites all people — male or female, Jew or Gentile, slave or free — to repent of their sins, believe in Him, and receive salvation. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

No one has to live in darkness anymore.

Jesus, shine your light into my darkness. You know the evil inside me and around me. Forgive me and rescue me. Thank you for the hope you bring. Amen.

Go Deeper — Think about light and darkness. Consider how light reveals, dispels darkness, cheers you, warms you and allows you to see. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what Jesus’ light shining into your darkness means.

Read Further — Does the Christmas story still matter today? If anyone asks you that, shine a light on their darkness by telling them why it does, with the help of the facts in this article.

Tags: Nativity Isaiah 9
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska