Charles Wesley wrote “Morning Hymn”: “Christ, whose glory fills the skies, / Christ, the true, the only light, / Sun of Righteousness, arise, / Triumph o’er the shades of night: / Day-spring from on high, be near: / Day-star, in my heart appear. . . . Visit then this soul of mine, / Pierce the gloom of sin, and grief, / Fill me, Radiancy Divine, / Scatter all my unbelief, / More and more thyself display, / Shining to the perfect day.”
The light and glory of God the Father is displayed as well by God the Son! Today’s reading from Revelation contains echoes from the prophet Ezekiel’s vision that we saw yesterday. We have explored light in the Bible as it relates to the Father; next, we’ll consider passages about light relating to the Son.
The island of Patmos was a Roman penal colony, about 50 miles southwest of Ephesus. John was in exile there, but as with the Jewish exiles in Ezekiel’s day, God remained very present. One Sunday, the Holy Spirit gave John a vision of the risen and exalted Christ.
Light is a key metaphor and visual feature in the description (vv. 12–16). There are seven lampstands and seven stars, representing seven churches and their angels. Christ’s hair is white like snow, indicating wisdom and dignity. His eyes are like blazing fire, meaning He sees all. His feet are like glowing bronze, representing strength. His “face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance” (v. 16), signifying not only glory and power but also love and favor (see Num. 6:24–26).
In the vision’s climax, Christ announced His identity as the Living One, the Alpha and the Omega, and the conqueror of death and hell (vv. 17–18).
APPLY THE WORD
Did you know that Christ has over 300 names or titles in Scripture? Two good books on this topic are Names of Christ, by T. C. Horton and Charles E. Hurlburt, and Names of Jesus, by A. B. Simpson (from a classic nineteenth-century sermon series). Both are available from Moody Publishers and can be found online or at your Christian bookstore.