Genesis 1:17

And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth. (Genesis 1:17, ESV)

Outside my high, arched window is a giant street light.  I love it.  It reminds me of my Glo-Worm buddy I used to have, except my Glo-Worm was about a foot long and this light is probably like 40 Glo-Worms stacked on top of each other.

My Glo-Worm doesn’t work anymore and it’s very sad.  I just loved the glow in his sweet, sleepy little face.  And when his face lit up, it was actually warm.  Light and warmth are irrevocably melded.

I don’t think usually of God creating a cosmic nightlight, but that’s just exactly what He did.  He totally changes our ceiling from day to night, giving us new beauty and wonder to look up at and know He is there.  Almost as if, if we could have doubted there was God when we just had the sun, we can’t when He adds the moon and stars, and, even if we can still write that off as astronomical chance, He gives us the sunset.

But the greatest gift of the skies, I have no doubt, is the sunrise.

These celestial gifts that

give light on the earth

are just unbelievable if we would stop to think about them because they tell, as best as nature possibly can, the story of Christ’s death and resurrection.  Without even the Bible, a child can understand death and resurrection through the rising and setting of the sun.  And every day, every single day (except for one miraculous time in the Bible), the sun has risen and set . . . giving the story, thousands of years ago, of what Christ would come to earth to do. . . and giving the story, today, of what Christ has done.

The moon can only reflect the light of the sun.  To me, the moon is like the old covenant of the Old Testament.  Animal sacrifices and living by the ten commandments were only possible because One was coming who would fulfill sin’s need for sacrifice and fully live out the ten commandments.

The sun rises, and that reminds me how Christ was born on earth.  Before, the world was living in darkness, with hope in the reflection of who Christ would be.  Now, the world had Jesus and no longer needed a reflection of Him.

The sun is the light of the day, as Christ is the Light of the world.  Light is hope, clarity, and right thinking.  When Christ was on the earth, He revealed the Kingdom of Heaven, revealed Himself as the Son of God, revealed how to please God by following the Son of God, and revealed His right to heal, judge, forgive, and command.

The sun sets at night, as Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world.  The stars appear after the sun has set, and the stars represent the people who will receive Jesus’ atonement through the cross.

The moon rises again and every Old Testament prophesy is reflected in light of the life of Jesus Christ.  The Old Testament shines with the fulfillment of the promise as it has never shined before.  Now we can see that the moon was only ever possible because of the sun!  The sun was where the moon got its light, just as Jesus’ New Covenant is where the Old Covenant got its life!  As if the sun was killed by the very people who thought they were hoping for its light, Jesus was killed by the very people who thought they were looking forward to His coming!

And here is the best, best, best part of all: the sunrise.  As the sun rises in the sky, so did Christ rise from the grave.  Sin is defeated, once for all, and the Light reigns forever.

And every day, the story is told over, because God wants all to look to His Son and find life forever.  You can’t find salvation through only looking at the sunset and sunrise.  But you can find a reminder of the greatest mystery and victory of all time.

And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth. (Genesis 1:17, ESV)


Photograph by Elvert Barnes, profile on

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