As Jesus was being crucified and the sins of the world were being laid on Him, physical darkness fell over the land at noon and lasted for three hours (see Luke 23:44–49). His last words were, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” a quotation of Psalm 31:5. The supervising centurion was amazed and responded by praising God and saying, “Surely this was a righteous man.”
To rescue us sinners from the death penalty we deserved, Christ descended into darkness, death, and hell. The “story of light” is therefore in essence the gospel story. We’re all sinners, prideful rebels against the light. But thanks be to God, He “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (vv. 13–14). By His mercy, He has called us “out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Light and darkness are opposing kingdoms. The kingdom of light belongs to the Son and is a place of salvation, mercy, and life. The kingdom of darkness, on the other hand, is the realm of sin and is a place of condemnation, pride, and death. Citizens of the kingdom of light have a sure inheritance of eternal life with God (v. 12; see 1 Peter 1:3–5). Citizens of the kingdom of darkness, by contrast, also have a sure inheritance, but theirs is eternal death and separation from God. Light is associated with holiness, hope, truth, and life, while darkness is associated with evil, despair, lies, and death. What an amazing rescue!
Paul taught this in the context of an extended prayer request for the Colossians. People of light should live worthy of their calling and strive to please their Rescuer (v. 10)!
The term inheritance in the Old Testament was often linked with God’s covenant with Israel, but Paul and others use it in the New Testament to refer to the church and God’s plan of salvation. With an online Bible study tool, you can search for words such as inheritance or heirs of God to learn more about God’s gracious promise to you.