Jesus, Pierced The Darkness And Was Born - For You

Text:  John 1:1-14

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

This is how our Gospel reading describes Christmas.  It is interesting, is it not, to hear Christmas described with the terms ‘darkness’ and ‘light?’  In other words,  the Gospel of John uses the term ‘darkness’ to show that because of the catastrophic sins of our first parents, Adam and Eve, human nature is blind, dead, and an enemy of God.  In fact we read in John 3:19 that, “people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”  

Indeed, the metaphor of darkness communicates that our world, our souls, our wills, and our minds are fallen—bound in sin.  The word darkness conveys the ideas of guilt, misery, ignorance, and wickedness.

However, the Gospel of John also uses the term ‘light’ when it says that the light shines in the darkness; the ‘light’ being the Son of God and the ‘shining’ being the arrival of the Son of God, life, and truth into our world of darkness.

With all of this stated, the metaphors of darkness and light, as well as the very vivid picture of light shining in darkness, certainly captures what Christmas is all about.  In other words, light shining into darkness is what happened when Christ came to humanity in His birth.  Indeed, the birth of the Son of God is a ray of light piercing into the gloom of night.    

As we have already heard, the world was enveloped in darkness.  Thus, we could say that the world was on Santa Clause’s naughty list, which means that there would have been no reason for Jesus to come to humanity.  No one on the nice list means no reason to bring good gift for good little boys and girls.  Furthermore, the world did not have fresh cookies awaiting the arrival of Jesus; no warm milk, no letters of kind words, no fresh smelling and beautifully decorated Christmas trees, no celebration, and no pretty lights.  Yes, for Jesus, the Christ-child, there wasn’t even room for Him in the Inn.  Rather, when Christ came from heaven to earth He met dense, gloomy, and hopeless darkness.  This darkness of sin was like a thick, dense cloud; it was like a fog that does not possess light nor welcomes light.

Be that as it may, the light still came. 

Yes, even though everyone was on the naughty list, the light still came.

Even though the darkness did not receive the light, the light still came.

Even though there were no warm cookies and milk, but only suffering and death on a cross, the light still came.

Even though there was no room for the Christ in the Inn, the Christ still came. 

While we were yet sinners, Christ came and died for us.

Left to ourselves, we walk in darkness and reject the light.  This rejection of the gift is not the fault of God or the gift itself.  This is because of our condition.  Regardless though, we see in our text that the light still came.  The light came and pierced the darkness. The light came and turned blindness to sight. The light came and like the sun, lit up the physical universe. Undeniably, this light lit up the world and souls of men.

Jesus still came and became flesh and blood.  He came to live among us.  

This, my friends, is huge!  Do you hear this?  The Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us!  This is remarkable.  “Christ, as God and Creator, is on one side of the line, and [everyone] else is on the other side, as His creation.  And then comes the most mind-boggling miracle and mystery of all: ‘The Word became flesh!’  In Christ, God became Man—and still is.”[1]  The Son of God Himself took on this poor and feeble human nature.  The Lord is eternal, all powerful and all knowing, yet He descended from the heavenly throne and became true man.  Do you know what this means?  This is not some theological nuance that is only important for theologians.  Rather, in the words of an old church father, it means that,

“…God my Lord is not angry with me; for He is my flesh and blood . . . If He were ill-disposed toward me, He would not have taken on my flesh and blood.”[2]

The Son of God had every reason not to come, yet He still came to enlighten you and me.

Truly, Jesus came into the darkness, took on human flesh so that He might free prisoners.  He came into the darkness, took on human flesh in order to calm the storms and feed thousands with the very bread of peace.  Jesus came into the darkness, took on human flesh, so that He might bless us with a strong, yet gentle word.  He came into the darkness, taking on human flesh, to bring cool water to the dessert’s burning sand.  Jesus came into the darkness, took on human flesh, to be the true Redeemer and make us one.[3]

My friends, the very fact that the Son of God came into the darkness and put on flesh when He had every reason not to, gives us confidence in the hours of our greatest doubt, fear, pain, and worry.  It gives us confidence when the darkness attempts to intrude on us.  Martin Luther once said that little is gained against the devil when we reply with long words, but rather when we are bombarded with the lies and accusations of the evil one we are to say,

“I am a Christian of the same flesh and blood as my Lord Christ, the Son of God.  You settle with Him, devil!”[4] 

We can go on to confess,

“You see devil, for us human beings and for our salvation the Son of God came down from the heavens, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary and became man.  This happened so that He might be crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffer death, be buried, and then rise again!  This was all done for us; it was done for me.”

Yes, Jesus, the Son of God, came into the darkness and became man “for our sake in order that we might enter into great glory, that our flesh and blood, skin and hair, hands and feet, stomach and back might reside in heaven as God does.”[5]

My friends, as Advent comes to a conclusion this day, and as we celebrate Christmas today, may we confess that Christmas is fundamentally not about us and our families. Christmas is not about the marketing and sales of our capitalistic society. Christmas is not about big family dinners or our family traditions, as great as they may be. Rather, Christmas is about the one who pierced the darkness.  It is about the Son of God who came into darkness, put on flesh, in order to suffer and die in the place of sinners so that the Father in heaven and all mankind may be reconciled.  Christmas is about sinners being given eyes to see; it is about blindness being turned to sight.  Christmas is about what Jesus has done for you.  “Christmas is about hearing Jesus and hearing what He has done for you throughout His earthly ministry, His suffering, His dying, His descent into hell, His rising again from the dead, and His ascension into heaven. Christmas is about the life you have in Jesus and your life begins in His being born in Bethlehem. The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end born to redeem you from death and to give you life.”[6] 

Beloved baptized saints rejoice!  Praise the One who breaks the darkness with a liberating light!  “Rejoice because on this happy morning, your Savior [pierced the darkness and was] born for you. Jesus is The Lord and King of glory. The angels of heaven sang of His birth and now, today, you join with your songs of worship and praise.”[7]

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

[1] Kurt Marquart, Marquart’s Works, Vol. I, pp. 70-71.

[2] Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones in cantica, Sermon II, Patrologia, Series Latina, CLXXXII, 792.

[3] Portions of this paragraph are taken from the lyrics of “Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness” from The Lutheran Service Book (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2006), Hymn 849.

[4] Martin Luther, Luther’s Works: Volume 22 (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1957), 106.

[5] Luther, Luther’s Works: Volume 22, 110.

[6] Rev. John Wurst, Your Savior is Born (, Accessed 12-21-13) 

[7] John Wurst, Your Savior is Born.

CLICK HERE to join in the conversation on Facebook.
CLICK HERE to follow on Twitter.