Jesus is the light of day
Jesus is portrayed in Scripture as the Light of God, the antithesis of the darkness of Godlessness.
Isaiah 9:2 – The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
John 1:4-5 – In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 8:12 – Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
John 12:46 – “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”
The following reasoning might or might not be the reason why God created the sun after He created light, but it serves nonetheless to illustrate Jesus’ nature:
The light shone on the dark world from day 1 of the Creation week, but on day 4, God placed that light into localized entities in space. The entity that governed the day was, of course, the sun.
In the same way, God was the guiding light from the beginning of His relationship with Man, but when Jesus came, God placed His light and authority into His Son as His representative on earth. By sending His Son to what had become a dark world, God’s light now shone as a beacon for God’s people to follow.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the metaphor of a rising sun would be applied to Jesus.
Malachi 4:2 – But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.
Luke 1:78-79 – (Zachariah’s prophesy) “…Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Plunging back into darkness and night
While Jesus was in the world, He had work to do, and His disciples to prepare. He knew His time was limited, as there would come a time when He would leave and night would return to the world.
John 9:4-5 – “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
John 12:35-36 – “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”
It is interesting, in the first reference, that Jesus says that in the night “no one can work.” I believe that this probably refers to the period immediately after His death: The shepherd struck, and the sheep scattered (Matthew 26:31; Jesus quoting Zechariah 13:7); Jesus in Hades, away from the presence of the Father.
This was a time of unprecedented darkness. When He arose, and visited with His disciples again, there was a growing hope, culminating in the arrival of the Holy Spirit which transformed the disciples into God’s light.
Ephesians 5:8 – for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light…
And yet, they were still in a period of night-time. The Master was not there, only His appointed representatives guided by the Holy Spirit. They would provide the guiding light for God’s elect, but they were still awaiting the arrival of the day.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – (2) For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night… (4) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; (5) for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; (6) so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. (7) For those who sleep do their sleeping at night… (8) But since we are of the day, let us be sober…
They were not in darkness, but they were in the night. Because they were not in darkness, the coming day should not overtake them. They were expecting the day to come again soon, within their lifetime, and so should be prepared.
Romans 13:11-13 – Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. (12) The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (13) Let us behave properly as in the day…
2 Peter 1:19 – So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
1 John 2:8 – … because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.
What does this tell us?
- Jesus is the light of day.
- The disciples, in the time of the writing of the New Testament, were living in the night.
- The day was approaching again, so they should live in the light that was their faith in Jesus.
- The arrival of day would be like a thief, overtaking the night suddenly.
- The recipients of the letters were going to witness the dawning of the new day.
All these points are consistent with the arrival of Jesus at the end of the Old Covenant, the end of the covenant of slavery (Galatians 5:21-31), and the end of the present Jerusalem. He would introduce the New Covenant of freedom, the new heavenly Jerusalem.
The New Jerusalem, the New Covenant, would be heralded by the dawning of the new day, the return of the Light, that is, the return of Jesus.
Revelation 21: 23-25 – And the city (New Jerusalem) had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and the lamp is the Lamb. (24) The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. (25) In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed.
We are now fully in the age of the New Covenant, citizens of the New Jerusalem. We have the light of day with us – not just the promise that was given to the disciples, but the reality.