I have always been fascinated by the Olympic Games and the willingness of participating countries to put away their differences and compete against each other for Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. However, there is a part of the Olympic Games that typically does not receive much publicity, but I find it just as captivating to follow. That event is the Olympic Torch Relay. Several months before the Olympic Games, the Olympic flame is lit at Olympia, Greece then travels around Greece, and is then transferred to the current year’s host city. The host city then by way of a relay, transports the torch to various parts of their country keeping the torch lit throughout the entire journey. The final runner in the relay then lights the Olympic Flame in the host city and it continues to burn in the cauldron for the duration of the Games until it is extinguished during the Olympic closing ceremony. Thus, the fires contained in the torches and Olympic cauldrons all trace a common lineage back to the same Olympia lighting ceremony.
Jesus’ words remind me of the Olympic lighting ceremony and the Olympic Torch Relay. “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’” (John 8:12 NKJV).
Jesus is trying to make everyone understand that compared to the darkness and sin of the World, He is the Light of the World. Apart from Him, there can be no rescue from one’s sin or light to guide a person through this life or the next. Jesus vowed that anyone following Him would not walk in darkness but have “the light of life!”
However, Jesus’ stay on the Earth as a man would soon come to an end with His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. What would happen to the Light then? Would it be snuffed out? How would mankind know of eternal life if the light is gone?
The answer is in “The Relay.”
Matthew 5:14 (NKJV) says, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Jesus, as the Light of the World, made disciples of men and charged them with the task of being light-bearers themselves. As the Olympic Flame, Jesus would always be the source, but anyone willing to give their lives to Him would be guided out of the darkness and become torches themselves eventually passing the light on to someone else. Thus, just as each Olympic Torch can be traced back to the original flame, so can the flame of each disciple be traced back to the original source, the only true Eternal Flame, Jesus.
Knowing that Jesus is the Light of the World, would you please take a moment and honestly answer the following questions.
Has your torch ever been lit?
If not, will you take the step today to find someone to help you know how?
If Yes, have you ever relayed the flame to anyone else?