Friday, January 29, 2016

Christ is the Meaning of the Sun

https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaellibbephotography/13606046195/
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.
(Psalm 19:4-6)
The theme of Psalm 19 is the revelation of Christ in the heavens and in the “law” (or “instruction”) of the Lord. For Christ is the creator of the cosmos, and all the Law and Prophets, which is to say all the Old Testament scriptures, are about him.

God has “pitched a tent for the sun.” Through Christ, he has created the heavens and the skies that surround the earth, and indeed, all that is. Christ is the Sun. The sun portrays him before our eyes. Just as the sun is always present in the sky, so Christ is always present in the world. For all things are created in him, through him and for him, and are sustained by him. The psalm writer describes the sun as a bridegroom coming out of his marriage chamber and as a mighty champion who gladly runs the course for his people.

Christ is the Bridegroom, lavishing his love upon his people and preparing them as his holy bride. The bride is the Church, “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). This is, Paul says, a profound mystery.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:25-32)
Christ is also the Champion for his people, pouring himself out willingly for our sake so that, through him, we are more than conquerors. And there is nothing that can separate us from this great love.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:31-37)
As the sun traces its path across the sky from east to west, giving its light and heat to all the earth, so also Christ rules over the world and gives light to all, penetrating every corner of darkness. This is the testimony of the New Testament: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). “The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8).

Christ is the true light, and the meaning of the sun. The sun is but one means by which his light is made present in the world. It is an icon of his glory. Christ is the reality, the light that was from before the beginning, and the light that will remain when all things come to their fulfillment in him. As Isaiah the prophet said, so also John the Revelator:
The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. (Isaiah 60:19-20)

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp ... There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 21:23; 22:5)