Thursday morning on my way to work, I looked toward the Eastern sky and saw the sun in its splendor breaking the horizon. So taken by the sight, I snapped a picture of it with my phone.
Malachi 4:2 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."
The great Gospel light that streams from Christ is the "sun of righteousness."
Charles Spurgeon has beautifully written: "This great orb, the lord of light and lamp of day, is like my Savior; it is the faint image of his excellent glory whose countenance shineth as the sun in its strength...The king of day [the sun] is so vast and so bright that the human eye cannot bear to gaze upon him; we delight in his beams, but we should be blinded should we continue to peer into his face; even yet more brilliant is our Lord [Christ] by nature, for as God he is a consuming fire, but he deigns to smile upon us with milder beams as our brother and Redeemer. Jesus, like the sun, is the center and soul of all things, the fullness of all good, the lamp that lights us, the fire that warms us, the magnet that guides and controls us; he is the source and fountain of all life, beauty, fruitfulness, and strength; he is the fosterer of tender herbs of penitence, the quickener of the vital sap of grace, the ripener of fruits of holiness, and the life of everything that grows within the garden of the Lord."
Christ is indeed all these things and more.
Captivated by that brilliant mass of light on a Thursday morn, I also thought of the Bible's references to the Second Coming of Christ as a sunrise. "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you," prophesied Isaiah (Isa. 60:1). "And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain," reads 2 Samuel 23:4. "His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden," says the prophet Habakkuk (Hab. 3:4). Luke's Gospel says, "Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. (Lk. 1:78-79)"
I long for this day. I wait for it with great anticipation, assurance, and hope. In these days we are surrounded by sin, sorrow, sickness, conflict, chaos, and confusion. There is no end to it, and with each day's passing, it only seems to get worse. But on that day when Christ returns, he will come with "healing in his wings," dotingly spreading them over a diseased and distempered world. In that day, the virtue and justice of our Lord and the goodwill that follows will flood the whole earth like the light of the sun. A new day will have arrived, a day like no other, and every person who has trusted Christ will skip, and leap, and jump, and bounce, and prance for joy, like calves let out of their stall.
(See example of exuberant joy of calves released from their stalls as described in Malachi 4:2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElM7N6a8qO8 )
Consider the greatest of life's questions. Have you seriously considered Christ's claims to be the Lord of life? Do you realize your desperate need to make things right with God? Have you turned from your sins and received Christ for forgiveness? What if you were to die today, do you know for certain that you would go to heaven? If Christ were to return at this very moment, are you confident that you would meet Him as your Savior and Lord and not the Great Judge who would rightly condemn you?
If you can't answer these questions in the affirmative, I urge you to earnestly call upon Christ in prayer and tell Him that you believe in Him as the Son of God. Tell Him that you believe that His death on the Cross was to take away the punishment you deserve for your sins. Tell Him that in faith you receive eternal life as a free gift because you could never be worthy of it, you could never earn it, and you could never save yourself. Ask Him to forgive you for breaking God's commandments. Ask Him to transform your heart so that you will desire, as well as have the strength to demonstrate daily by obedience, your gratitude for the redemption He freely gives to all who believe.
The Scriptures say, "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16). "God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" (Eph. 2:8, 9). "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13).
If you will accept this message with your heart and humbly cast yourself on Christ's unmerited favor and love, then you can be ready when He comes again.
He is coming! It could be any time. Jesus said that no man knows the day or the hour of his return (Mt. 24:36). He delays only to allow for more people to take His offer.
All of history is moving towards that day. Will you be ready? Only those who have surrendered to Christ's sovereignty shall enter into this new and blessed experience of unending bliss.
O come "sun of righteousness." Come quickly, Lord Jesus.