“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” – Isaiah 9:2

Reading

Isaiah 9 · Luke 4:16-44 · Psalm 21

Sermon

This text tells of the condition of the world which made necessary the coming of the Lord. At Nazareth, where the Lord was brought up, He went into the synagogue, took up the book of Isaiah, and read the words “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

The Old Testament throughout tells of the fall of man from his pristine state of innocence and dependence upon the Lord until evil had gained the upper hand and held men in bonds which they of themselves could not break. And when the Lord came into the world, He did not look upon humanity as if it were moving on in the way of spiritual progress. In His eyes evil was not seen to be loosening its hold upon men. He spoke of men as blind. He spoke of them as bound and in prison. He spoke of them as lost. He spoke of the Scriptures as being made of none effect. He spoke of the necessity of a judgment.

Thus the Gospels represent the Lord as considering man to be in spiritual danger. And He came into the world to save men from this danger. He did actually come into the world. He took our nature upon Him and by means of a direct combat with the powers of evil did accomplish a redemption. He lived humanity’s life in the midst of humanity’s need and helplessness and provided the means of salvation for all men and for all time. So He was able to say, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” And then of His uplifting power in the days to come He immediately adds, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

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