2021 Christmas Advent Day 16: The Bright and Morning Star visits His people
- Main Passage: Luke 1:67-80
- And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring (Sunrise) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
- Jesus is the Sunrise from on High, or one could say the Sunrise from Heaven. When Jesus came to earth, a new day dawned, a new age. Paul calls it “the dispensation of the grace of God.” [Ephesians 3:2] The truths of God in the gospel, which are revealed to us by Jesus are called in the New Testament, a “mystery.” Mystery in the sense that they were once hidden but are now revealed. Similar to how the shapes and figures of the physical world become visible when the sun rises as opposed to night. Paul tells us this in Colossians, saying through The Holy Spirit that, of our salvation in Christ, He was “made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” [Colossians 1:25-27] So through the rising of Christ, we who were once in darkness are now “light in The Lord,” [Ephesians 5:8] for the Dayspring has come “to give light to them that sit in darkness.” [Luke 1:79] We have been drawn to the light of Jesus by The Father, for Jesus says, “no man can come to me, except The Father which hath sent Me draw him.” [John 6:44] And The Father, who is rich in mercy, “hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [2 Corinthians 4:6] We have The Messiah Himself, Jesus, dwelling within us, who continually allows us by His Spirit to behold as in a mirror “the glory of The Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18] It is Jesus, The “Great Light,” [Isaiah 9:2] who The LORD has given “for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” [Isaiah 42:6-7] Just as The LORD created in the beginning of time, “the greater light to rule the day,” so it is in our lives: The Father, as it were, has commanded “let there be light” and again, “let there be lights.” [Genesis 1:16; 3; 14] Jesus is the fulfillment of The Greater Light which rules the day; He is The Sun, who is the very center of this dispensation of grace: He enlightens us to the truths of God, He shows us the way of peace, He lightens our path, He gives us energy and life, He is glorious, and seated in heaven.
- The LORD gives to Jesus the title “Sun of Righteousness” in Malachi. He says, “But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings, and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” [Malachi 4:2] In Psalms it is said, “The LORD God is a sun and shield.” [Psalms 84:11] And again in Revelation, Jesus says, “I am…The Bright and Morning Star.” [Revelation 22:16] In Hebrews we read that Jesus is “the brightness of [The Father’s] glory,” [Hebrews 1:3] which means that Jesus is the shining radiance of God’s glory: He is the very brightness and illumination of God, who “is a sun;” in fact, He Himself is the Sun: Jesus and The Father “are one,” Jesus being, as we have seen already, “the express image of His person.” [John 10:30, Hebrews 1:3]
- The word in Malachi for “wings” is really “skirt.” It refers to the hem of a garment. It reminds us of the woman with an issue of blood twelve years, who in a beautiful act of desperate faith, “when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched His garment. For she said, if I may but touch His clothes, I shall be whole.” [Mark 5:27-28] it is Matthew who specifies to us that she “touched the hem of His garment.” [Matthew 9:20] And when she touched “straightaway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” [Mark 5:29] Jesus, The Bright and Morning Star, has risen. We have seen His Light, the very light and glory of God, and to those who will reach out and grab a hold of Him, they will be healed. Those who were blind to the truths of God will have their eyes opened, those who were deaf to God’s word will have their ears unstopped; those who were dead and lifeless will receive energy. And as Jesus says, “all that The Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” [John 6:37] The Sun of Righteousness is willing and available for anyone who desires to come underneath His garment as it were, under the light of His glory. Even as Ruth, urged Boaz, “spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid.” [Ruth 3:9] And Jesus is not far off, but He is near; for those who are unsaved to receive salvation, and those who are saved to eat and drink of Him; for it is said in Isaiah that the flowing skirt of Jesus’ robe “filled the temple” [Isaiah 6:1] The healing skirt of The Bright and Morning Star is not far off upon a mountain, but He has come down and made Himself available: we may go to Him and grab hold of Him, for Christ is our life.
Questions for Day 16
- Jesus is freely available to each and every one of us who are saved. The warmth and energy from His presence, His very life, is available to us; His very power, granted through The Holy Spirit. He is The Sun, The Bright and Morning Star, The Greater Light, The Great Light, The Light of The World; Jesus is Our Light, each of us individually, and He is immediately available to us that we might have intimate fellowship with Him, partake of Him, or find mercy and grace. Just as it is written to those who fear God: “The Sun of Righteousness [shall] arise with healing in His skirt” and that the flowing skirt of Jesus’ robe fills the temple, that heavenly place in which Paul says we are seated. Jesus’ hem is not out of reach; we may, as the woman in Mark, reach out and grab ahold of Him. What stops us from taking hold of the hem of The Sun of Righteousness, Jesus? Or of submitting under Him like Ruth did to Boaz? What should change in our lives?
- Just as the sun gives light and energy to all who are under its rays, so too it is with us. Jesus is the source of all spiritual life. Without Jesus there is no life, there is no lasting joy, there is no spiritual energy, there is nothing. He has life for us: real life, and real energy, that does not fade nor fail. How can you take advantage of this – meaning, what must you do to partake of this life which is hidden in Jesus?
- Reflect: The sun has two sides. It can be pleasant or it can be very uncomfortable. A nice summer day can be a great joy, but the same can hardly be said for a summer day with temperatures over 100 degrees. The sun feels nice upon the skin, but too long will give you painful burns. We see that then that the sun has two sides. There is a blessedness to it, and there is a lack thereof. Likewise it is with Jesus. There are two sides to The Sun of Righteousness. For those who take hold of Him today, and spend their entire lives taking hold of Him and gazing up at Him: The Sun will not scorch, but to those who reject Jesus, to those who do not passionately lay hold of Him in hope and fellowship: The Sun will burn them to a crisp, even as the plague in revelation, where in the future still to come “the fourth angel [will pour] out his vial upon the sun; and power [will be] given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat…” [Revelation 16:8] Jesus Himself says this, using the analogy of Him as The Rock: “Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is The Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?…Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” [Matthew 21:42; 44] There is a choice today: you can fall upon The Rock and be broken, or you can forbear and be crushed to powder in the day of judgment. You can come under the skirt of The Sun today, or you can forbear and be scorched in judgment.
- “And he that overcometh…I will give him the Morning Star.” [Revelation 2:26; 28]