Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seeing Jesus in the Sun

Grand Canyon Sunset July 2012
Last summer we had the opportunity to go to the Grand Canyon and watch the sun set (see link). As soon as that bright orange sphere slipped beneath the horizon everyone around us began to clap their hands. 

This surprised me.

I've been to maybe two movies in my lifetime where the audience has clapped at the ending credits but I'd never heard anyone applaud an act of nature. I wondered who were they clapping for exactly? The sun? The God who made the sun? Themselves for coming out to witness it?

I get it. There's something inherently glorious about the sun. In fact, if you look up solar deity on wikipedia (here) you will find that "sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms" - from Aztec, African or Chinese mythology to major religions like Hinduism and Buddhism to those who religiously sun-bathe on the beach. Check out this amazing video which captures some the beauty of the sun. 


Ascendance from Henry Jun Wah Lee / Evosia on Vimeo.

It is certainly worthy of marvel, but we would be grossly misguided if we were to worship created things over the Creator (Rom 1:25). But here's my point. If the Bible is true and if as it says, "All things were created by him [Jesus] and for him [Jesus]" [Col 1:16 then certainly the sun is not exempt from this remarkable statement. The sun was created by Jesus for Jesus. This should cause us to wonder why did Jesus create the sun and how might it have been created for him? Perhaps the sun was not just created to sustain our world and grow fruits and vegetables? Perhaps it serves a greater purpose than sourcing us with Vitamin D? Perhaps it speaks daily something about it's creator?

What's interesting is that two of Jesus' closest friends (apostle Peter & John) in some sense link Jesus with the sun. In fact Jesus even refers to himself as "the bright Morning star".  
"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."  -Rev 22:16
What is this a picture of if it is not the sun? Peter appears to even take it one step further and even ties the sunrise to Christ's second coming. 
We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. -2 Peter 1:19
What a glorious thought! I'm not a morning person but there is something beautiful about watching the sun slowly rise over the horizon as it chases the darkness away and ushers in the dawn of a new day. It's red hue "pouring forth speech" of the redemptive blood of the Lamb of God. 

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not advocating sun-worship. I am advocating Son-worship. I believe the sun was created to point to something much greater -- the Son. And when we marvel at the beauty of a sunset or sunrise it should remind us daily of the Son - his first coming and his glorious return. 
"Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” - Hosea 6:3

"The sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings..." -Malachi 4:2

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” -C.S. Lewis

3 comments:

  1. What a wonderful promise in Hosea. Thankful for your reflections, Peter!

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