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Matthew 4:16

Matthew 4:16
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Matthew 4:16, “…and to the ones sitting in the region and shadow of death, on them light shone.”

If Death is associated with “shadow,” then what can it mean that a light has shone into that shadow? When you shine light into a region of shadow, what happens? The shadow disappears. Shadow cannot exist within light, and where light goes, the shadow is dispelled. Indeed, when light shines into a shadow, the shadow is no longer a shadow, it becomes light (Eph 5:15). And if death is associated with shadow, then light must refer to death’s opposite, i.e., life. So, when we read that light will shine into the shadow of death, what can it mean except that life will invade death so that death itself will be turned to life? Where there was death, there will be life.

And what is this light that shines into the shadow, this life that shines on those in death’s shadow and brings them to life? Well, Matthew implies—with a very Johannine insight—that the light is Christ Himself. It is Christ’s dwelling in the region of Zebulon and Naphtali that Matthew says fulfills Isaiah’s words about light shining into death’s shadow. Yes, His teaching is in view (v.17), certainly. But His teaching flows from Himself…His teaching is analogous to the ray while He Himself is analogous to the source, the star.

Christ Himself is the light who enters death’s shadow and establishes a sphere of life within the region of death…..Indeed, what Tolkien said of Shelob’s eyes might also be said of the peoples of earth at the approach of Christ:

“From sun and moon and star they had been safe underground, but now a star had descended into the very earth.”

Yes…truly, with the coming of Christ, a star—the Morning Star—has descended into the very earth, into the region of eternal dark, into the shadow of death itself, into that deepest shadow the Light of Life, the Sun of Righteousness has descended and so has established Day in the heart of the Night, Life in the domain of Death. Glory to God!