You’ll love the picture of Jesus as the Bright Morning Star. He the Son of Righteousness—He arises out of darkness with healing in His wings. Make this an opportunity to meditate on the profound truths Derek shares.
It’s good to be with you again, as we continue to study together our special theme for this Christmas Season: Titles of Jesus.
The purpose of this study is to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus. Each title that we’ve studied so far has revealed to us some special and significant aspect of the many-sided nature of Jesus. As we put these various titles together, we enter into a continually fuller and richer understanding of all tht God gave us when He gave us Jesus.
The three titles that we’ve studied so far this week are: Savior, Christ, or Messiah, the Anointed One, and Alpha and Omega.
Like Alpha and Omega, the title that we’re going to study today is also taken from the Book of Revelation. It is: the Bright Morning Star.
Right at the end of the Book of Revelation, Jesus speaks to John, the Revelator, and He says this, in Revelation 22:16:
“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.” (NIV)
Actually, there are two titles in that verse, the Root and the Offspring of David and the bright Morning Star. If we look for a moment at the Root and the Offspring of David, we see it corresponds in a certain sense with the title that we looked at yesterday, Alpha and Omega, but with special application to David and his house. As Root, Jesus was Alpha to David’s house, as Offspring He’s Omega. He’s the one from whom they were initiated, the one in whom they’ll find fulfillment.
However, the title that we want to focus on today is the second one in that verse, the Bright Morning Star. The Bright Morning Star is the sun and I’m going to have to spell that word from time to time because of the similarity of sound of those two English words, the sun, s-u-n.
The reason why Jesus is called the Sun is because of certain, specific, unique features of the sun in our world. I’ll pick out two. First of all, the sun in our universe is the sole universal source of light and heat and therefore of life itself. Without the sun, there can be no life in our world. He supplies everywhere, both light and heat. Secondly, the sun, because of the fact that it sets and rises, appears and disappears, always carries with it the promise of sunrise after darkness. So those are the two associations. First of all the sun is the sole universal source of light and heat, therefore of life itself. Secondly,the sun always carries with it the promise of sunrise after darkness.
For some further Scriptures on that first application, the sun as the sole universal source of light and heat, we look for a moment in Psalm 19, verses 4 through 6 which is a very vivid and beautiful picture of the heavenly bodies and in particular, of the sun. The psalmist says:
“In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun, [Isn’t that beautiful; the heavens are like the tent for the sun. Then he goes on to say:] the sun, who is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. [It speaks of both the beauty and the strength of the sun. He’s like a bridegroom adorned in his glorious attire and he’s like a champion who runs a race in full strength. Then it goes on, verse 6:] It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.” (NIV)
That’s a profound scientific truth which we recognize today. Everything in our world derives light and heat from one unique source: the sun. And that’s how Jesus is to this world. He’s the sole source of light and heat and therefore of life itself. He’s like the bridegroom. He’s like the strong man. He’s beautiful and He’s glorious.
Let’s look also in Hebrews 1, verses 1 through 3:
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory [We’ll go no further than that] The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (NIV)
Of course the word Son in that last phrase is S-o-n, but the phrase, “the radiance of God’s glory” immediately reminds us of the sun, s-u-n. So, Jesus is the radiance of the glory of the Son, which is God the Father. There’s a very beautiful parable there in nature. In the reality of the sun and its light. Let me just take a moment to unfold it to you; it’s so beautiful. There’s a picture of the total nature of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s represented to us by the sun and by its light and by our experience. The substance of the sun represents God, the Father. Nobody has ever seen the substance of the sun. Nobody has ever seen God the Father. The manifest brightness, the radiance of the sun, represents God the Son and the rays that convey that brightness to us, that make it possible for us to actually see that brightness, represent God, the Spirit. And interestingly enough, these rays are refracted in the rainbow into seven colors, the distinctive number of the Holy Spirit. So there’s just a little parable in nature. The substance of the sun is God the Father. The radiance of the glory of the sun is Jesus Christ, the Son. The rays that convey that radiance to you and me, that’s the Holy Spirit.
The second thing I said about the sun, as it represents Jesus, is that it always carries with it the promise of sunrise after darkness. This is clearly predicted in Malachi, chapter 4, verses 1 and 2:
“‘Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.’” (NIV)
So the Scripture warns us there’s coming a time of God’s wrath and indignation on the wicked and the rebellious but at the same time, in the midst of the warning, God gives us a promise of deliverance and help that comes in the person of the Son of Righteousness, that’s the Lord Jesus. Out of all the midst of the anguish and the tribulation and the darkness, there’s going to arise that Bright Morning Star, the Son of Righteousness with healing in its wings. It’s going to bring deliverance and healing, rest and peace to those, it says, who revere or fear God’s name. There’s got to be an inner preparation before that Son of Righteousness will arise for us with healing and with deliverance. That means that something has got to happen inside each one of us personally. It’s important to see this.
I’d like to point out to you what Peter says in his 2nd Epistle, chapter 1, verses 16 and 19. He’s speaking about the promise of the coming of the Lord Jesus in glory and he says it requires prepararation on our part. He says:
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ [Peter is looking back in his memory to that scene on the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus was transfigured before their eyes and they saw Him in His glory and in his majesty and in his brightness, so he says, ‘Remember, it was not just a theory; it’s something we’ve witnessed. But then he goes on to say:] We have the words of the prophets made more certain, 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.’” (NIV)
You see, the Morning Star, and that’s Jesus rising in our hearts; it’s not his coming in power and glory to judge the universe. But that’s an inner, personal experience. When we have come to know him personally and through the revelation of God’s Word and the prophesies of Scripture, we’ve come to a quiet, unshakeable inner confidence that Jesus is coming back to reign. The Son of Righteousness is going to rise for those who fear God’s name.
I wonder today if you have that inner assurance, if the return of Jesus in Glory is a reality for you. Has that Morning Star risen in your heart? The Scripture says that we do well to pay attention to the prophesies of the Bible. If we will fasten our minds on the Word of God and meditate on it and let the Holy Spirit speak to us through it, He will make the return of Jesus something very real, something about which we’re absolutely confident. It will be like a star rising in our hearts and then it will be there til the day dawns, til the actual great event takes place, til the Son of Righteousness arises out of the darkness of anguish and tribulation to give fresh light and hope to the people of this earth. So, cultivate that awareness that Jesus is coming. Let it be a star that rises in your heart.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about another wonderful title of Jesus.