The city did not need to have the sun or the moon shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. And the nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it (Revelation 21:23-24).
I simply couldn’t resist. Despite my skepticism about all the solar eclipse hysteria, I had to see what there was to see. I wasn’t motivated enough to leave Raleigh, but I also couldn’t keep myself from walking outside the church to look through a pair of borrowed eclipse glasses. While I can’t say the event lived up to the hype (at least not here!), it was thought-provoking.
We rely on the sun in innumerable ways. Plants, for example, depend on the sun for photosynthesis, and we depend on the plants for oxygen. Without the sun, our planet would be an icy, lifeless rock, and we would simply not exist. Yet how often do we think about the sun’s indispensability on a daily basis? Even if for just a few moments, witnessing a solar eclipse offers us a rare opportunity to ponder the fleeting nature of the world as we know it.
Science and Scripture agree on the sun’s impermanence. According to the consensus of scientists, a time will come (possibly billions of years from now) when the sun will expand to the point where its heat makes the earth uninhabitable. Scripture, likewise, puts it this way, “The heavens will pass away with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be exposed” (2 Peter 3:10b). The sun and all the physical benefits it currently brings to our planet will not last forever.
Consequently, God’s Word invites us to envision a Day when the sun’s light is supplanted by the light of God’s Son—the light of the world. In that Day, God’s glory will be on full display. There will be no doubt that the Lord is who has claimed to be in His Word, our Creator, our Savior, and our Sustainer. The light of God’s presence will lead us, and the universe will be as God intended it to be “in the beginning.”
We long for that Day to arrive, and we pray earnestly for the time when our Father’s will is done fully on earth as it is heaven. In the meantime, however, we do not wait in darkness. The lamp through which God’s glory shines—the Lamb of God—has come to take away the sins of the world. In His light we can see all we need to see, and we can taste life everlasting. This Son can never be eclipsed. This Son lives up to all the hype and more! Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.