|For All to See|
by Ian McLachlan
In February this year my wife Colleen and I spent a weekend with friends at Coronet Bay, Western Port Bay, Victoria. Their home is on a small rise and looks down over a grassed area to the foreshore, across water to French Island a kilometre or so out. For me as a visitor it was immediately a place of relaxation and taking in the wonder of God’s creation – the sights, the sounds and the refreshing smell of the sea.
One of the main activities for the weekend was to go fishing – for whiting and perhaps snapper. I’ve never caught a snapper so I was looking forward to it but even more so the fish and chips that night.
However, this was no casual affair – Graham our host, is a keen prepared, fisherman with GPS/depth sounder, rods, reels, lines, tackle, bait, a boat and most importantly, years of fishing experience. He knows when it’s best to go out, on what tides, where to fish, how long to stay. For us, the plan was a 4.30am rise and on the water with lines wet by 5.30am, all before dawn.
Half awake, with wet feet and a mild, salty wind in our faces we left the jetty in total darkness, except for the navigation lights on the boat and the dull gleam from the GPS. We were consumed by an all encompassing blackness but each of us rested confidently in Graham’s knowledge and skills. A short time later, after the first whiting were caught, the eastern sky began to lighten.
I had that feeling of expectation where you know something is happening but can’t really see it. And then, the sun emerged above the horizon and the light seemed to fall on me, growing and expanding, getting brighter and warmer, as it lit up the panorama of Western Port.
The contrast from dark to light was striking. A reminder of God’s wisdom in Isaiah 9:2 – “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
I thought of Jesus, and Easter.
Jesus had been journeying to the cross long before even His closest friends realized. Only in Jesus, long prepared for us, was provided the necessary, perfect sacrifice to pay the price of sin. Jesus’ death, one payment, enough for all people, was indeed accepted by God and confirmed by His resurrection.
From Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey God’s command, we are all born into the world, not in a close relationship with God, but into darkness. Yet it was God’s plan, beginning with the Old Covenant law, to show us that we could never restore our relationship with Him by ourselves. We need Jesus and a New Covenant, where Jesus alone, the perfect sacrifice, pays the debt of our unbelief and disobedience. Only in Jesus does God deal completely with the penalty for sin. Only in Jesus can we journey from sin and death to forgiveness and life.
I was reminded again with that sunrise, that Jesus really is the Light of the World.
So it was on a sun-drenched boat with friends, with fish around my feet, that Malachi 4:2 came alive – “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”
When we accept Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, we are given a righteousness not our own, being forgiven and restored into the very presence of God. We are healed – not just of sin and its guilt, but to eternal life.
While I didn’t jump around the boat like a calf released from a holding pen, my spirit sung with that same overflowing joy and release that only Jesus can bring.
We had a great morning fishing, I caught my first snapper and we were home for breakfast by 10 o’clock. We cleaned the boat and fish, talked and shared life together, we ate and walked on the beach. It was a weekend full of memories and time well spent together. But I kept thinking – as the sun rises again each day so I need to ensure the light of Jesus, of God’s word, of His forgiveness, shines into every area my life anew. If I do this, I’ll grow to become more like Him.
So as you reflect on Easter, and look to the days ahead, I encourage you to let the love of Christ shine upon your life and reveal His steps to take each day.
Ian McLachlan is the Operations Manager for Insight for Living Australia based in Melbourne. He’s married to Colleen and has two grown up children and 3 grandchildren.