Face like the Sun

This wonderful period of spring high pressure is likely coming to an end this week; Thursday’s forecast portends some snow, yet the past fortnight has seen warmth and sunshine. Yesterday, I had attended the 'Keswick' East Lancashire event. Although it had been excellent, I longed for some time in the sunshine while it lasted. I therefore returned home and changed into shorts and tee-shirt, taking with me a good book. Although I live in the middle of a mill town, I can walk about 6 minutes and find myself in the hills. I found a spot in the sunshine bereft of sheep muck, sat down and read. Basking in that warm light was a tonic to the soul. The winter has been long, the ground wet and the temperatures cool; today, I felt that better times had come.

I was minded of the usage in the Bible of the sun as simile for the Lord Jesus, especially for His actual face. There are two examples:

There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Matthew 17:2

In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. Revelation 1:16 (NKJV)

There is a further example in Revelation 10, in which a mighty angel’s appearance is described in similar language. So, we have two separate occasions when the sun is said to resemble the Lord Jesus’ glorious face. As I enjoyed the sunshine, I pondered the comparison.

Both are too dazzling to look upon. Although the sun is 100 million miles’ distance, staring straight at it will cause blindness. We are currently unable to see Christ’s supernatural glory; it would cause death rather than mere blindness. Some disciples beheld it partially at the transfiguration and John saw it when he received the Revelation, but for the main, we see it not. No one can see His face and live; our sin and natural bodies prevent our approaching the radiant centre of all glory and power. One day, however, we shall see His face.

The sun gives life to the earth. Although this is ultimately said of God Himself, it is worth noting that earthly life requires the temperature and light that the sun faithfully bestows. Likewise, the book Hebrews describes the Lord as the source of all life and sustaining it thereafter. Not only dis He make us in the womb, but He keeps us alive thereafter.

Thirdly, the sun, like the Son, is immensely powerful. In just one second, it generates more energy than has been used in all of mankind's history. We might have an energy shortage on earth, but the sun is one huge source of hyper-energy. This bespeaks the Lord Jesus’ immense and awesome power. He who made the sun is greater than the sun.

The sun is gigantic. It accounts for 98% of all mass in our solar system. It has a diameter of 864,938 miles, in contrast to the earth’s 7,926. This makes it an enormous object (though dwarfed by other stars in the galaxy). Its whopping size hints at the magnitude of God’s creative power and genius.

The face of the Lord Jesus in its supernatural brilliance will surely be the very epicentre of heaven’s majesty. Until I see it then, I shall enjoy its paler picture, the sun in the sky.

“‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Image by ipicgr from Pixabay