Christ the Sun

Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
~ Psalm 85:9

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.
~ 2 Samuel 23:4

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
~ Isaiah 9:2

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
~ Hosea 6:3

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
~ Luke 1:78

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
~ Psalm 103:3

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
~ Hosea 14:4

The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
~ Ruth 2:12

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
~ 2 Peter 3:18

Christ the Sun of Righteousness‌‌‌‌, by Richard Sibbes.

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.—Malachi 4:2

From the most glorious creation—“the sun”—he expresseth the most glorious Creator—“Christ Jesus”—taking occasion to help our understanding in grace by natural things. He teaches us thereby to make a double use of creation, corporal and spiritual. Out of the excellency of created things, He raises up our minds to consider the excellency of the Creator. So, if these things have beauty and strength and are comfortable, how much more is He that endueth these things with these qualities. Thus, as the rivers lead to the sea, so these created things should lead us to the glorious majesty of God.

But the main observation is that Christ is the Sun of righteousness. For as by nature there was no guile found in His lips, so He is habitually and actually righteous. He is wisdom, justification, sanctification, and redemption (1Co 1:30). He is compared to the sun because,

First, as all light was gathered into the body of the sun and from it (is communicated) to us, so it pleased God that in Him should the fulness of all excellency dwell (Col 1:19). Therefore, those that look for perfection out of Christ do look for light without the sun.

Secondly, as there is but one sun, so there is but one Sun of righteousness. Therefore, what need (is there for) two heads or two husbands? One must needs be an adulterer! Christ doth all by His Spirit, Who is His vicar. One needs no other vicar though there were a thousand worlds more.

Thirdly, as the sun is above in the firmament, so Christ is exalted up on high to convey His graces and virtues to all His (people) here below. (He does so) even as the sun conveys life and quickens the earth, yes, and all things thereon, though it is but one sun.

Fourthly, as the sun works largely in all things here below, so doth Christ.

Fifthly, as the sun is the fountain of light and the eye of the world, so Christ is the fountain of all spiritual light. “I am the light of the world,” saith He of Himself (Joh 8:12). He was that light that enlightens the world, saith St. John of Him (Joh 1:9), and therefore Zacharias termeth Him “the day-spring from on high” (Luke 1:78).

Sixthly, as the sun directeth us whither to go, and which way, so doth Christ teach us to go to heaven, and by what means: what duties to perform, what things to avoid, and what things to bear.

Seventhly, as the sun is pleasant (Ecc 11:7), and darkness is terrible, so Christ is comfortable. For He makes all at peace where He comes and sends His Spirit the Comforter. Now He is in heaven. Therefore, as ignorance and error are expressed by darkness, so, on the other hand, joy and honor and knowledge, which bringeth it, is expressed by light (Est 8:16); Christ is our director, our supporter. Without Him, what are we? And what do we but glory in our shame?

Eighthly, by the beams of the sun are conveyed influence to make things grow and to distinguish between times and seasons. Thus, Christ, by His power, makes all things cheerful, and therefore is called the “quickening spirit” (1Co 15:45). For He quickens the dead and dark soul, which, until Christ shines on us, is a dungeon of ignorance and unbelief. And as His Spirit blows on our spirits, so also it works a spring in growth of grace or a summer in strength of zeal.

Ninthly, the sun works these effects not by coming down to us, but by influence. And shall we, then, be so sottish as to imagine that Christ of necessity must come bodily in the sacrament to us or that there is no other work of the Spirit by that ordinance. Can the sun be thus powerful in operation by nature and shall not this Sun of righteousness be more powerful by the influence of His Spirit to comfort and quicken us, though He cometh not bodily down into a piece of bread?

Tenthly, as the sun doth work freely, drawing up vapors to dissolve them into rain upon the earth to cherish it when it is dry, so doth Christ. He freely came from heaven to us and freely draws up our hearts to heaven, which cannot ascend thither but by His exhaling power. Christ is our loadstone that draws these iron hard hearts of ours upward, causing us to contemn this base world, counting it dross and dung…

Eleventhly, as the sun shines upon all but doth not heat all, so Christ is offered to all. He shines on all where the gospel cometh, but all are not enlightened; and all that are enlightened do not burn in love to Him. Nay, some are more hardened by it, as it is the nature of the sun to harden some bodies.

Twelfthly, and lastly, as the sun quickens and puts life into dead creatures, so shall Christ by His power quicken our dead bodies and raise them up again when He shall come to judgment. And despite all these particulars, yet He is not everyway like it: for the sun shines upon all alike. But Christ doth not thus, for many are in eternal darkness, despite this light. He is mercy, yet many are in misery.

It is well to see that the true doctrine as to the Savior of man is not that of the New Testament only, but of the whole Bible. The unity of divine revelation will thus appear. The testimony of prophecy will be added to that of the miracles that attended the life of Jesus and the ministry of His followers. The authority of the later revelation will be seen to rest, not upon these miracles alone, but also upon the concurrence of its teachings with the inspired truth already accepted by the Jews.
—James Petigru Boyce