Light & Shadows
Their faces were shadows on the ultrasound images. I was expecting twin boys, but though I poured over the images, all I had were shadows. Tiny humans wriggled within me. I watched in wonder as their squirming created rolling ripples visible from without. I couldn’t wait to meet them, kiss their faces, hold them close. One autumn afternoon, it happened. All of a sudden, they were here! The images concealed in shadow were now wiggling bundles in my arms. Dark eyes squinted up at me from scrunched, rosy faces. Hands I saw as fluttering images now grasped my finger. What was concealed in shadows was now before my eyes.
Since Eden, God had sketched out the Promised One who would crush the serpent’s head. Though the serpent would bruise His heel, The One would forever crush his head. Throughout ancient times, bearded sages and grizzled prophets detailed the sketches. The coming One who would be Prophet, Priest and King—and yet Divine. Shadowy images, incomplete sketches.
He would be a Deliverer like Moses, a Warrior-King like David, but also the despised, rejected Suffering Servant.
He would be Priest, the Great Shepherd and yet the Passover Lamb. More light, less shadow; detail added to the sketch.
Heralding His coming would come a forerunner preaching in the strength and power of Elijah–“A voice of one calling in the desert. . .” with a singular message, “. . .prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3.
Enter, John the Baptizer. Rugged prophet; odd spectacle–wearing animal skins, eating locusts and preaching that one message. To some he was little more than a wild-eyed eccentric ranting in the desert, yet religious leaders trekked to the desert, gawking at the spectacle and interrogating him on his identity. His answer was always the same: I am not The One. I am His herald, the town crier calling from the desert, “Make straight the way for the Lord.” John 1:23.
More light; less shadow.
One day, Jesus appeared among the crowd. Perhaps John fell silent, stared, slack-jawed, then cried out, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. The long-awaited Messiah, whose face he longed to see, in flesh before him. Shadows fading; Light dawning!
Jesus, the One from eternity past, the Creator from Whom emanated all light and life, waded out to be baptized. Obeying His Maker, John baptized with water The One who would be the first baptized with death and rise victorious. He would then baptize His followers in with the Holy Spirit.
The voice of Father God thundered, affirming Jesus’s identity. The Spirit, that hovered over the waters prior to creation, descended upon Jesus—here on earth, from eternity past.
God the Father speaks.
God, the Son fulfilling the mission and receiving His Father’s blessing.
God, the Spirit descending from Heaven– lighting upon Him like a dove.
The Holy Trinity on the banks of the Jordan.
“No one has ever seen God, but God, The One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” John 1:18
Like beams of light arcing from ancient times, prophecies converged upon Jesus, spotlighting Him as The One. Shadows lifting; Light of the World illuminating the pathway of reconciliation with God.
The door of access between God and mankind thrown open to for all who believe. The Holy Spirit indwelling believers. The shadows of the law illuminated by the Light of World. The Great I AM with smiling eyes and an engaging face—feet, muddied by our streets, walking upon the waves, receiving the perfume of worshippers and pierced for our transgressions.
God made known—accessible.
Vulnerable to human cruelty and death—even death on a cross.
Shadows vanish—as the Light of the World illuminates our pathway Home.