THE SUN/SON OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
COMING FROM THE EAST AND SHINNING TO THE WEST
By: Michael J. Sullivan
“The Sun of Righteousness” “In that Day…” “The Day of the Lord”
“For as the [Sun MJS] comes from the east and [shines MJS] to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Mt. 24:27)
This passage is usually interpreted by partial preterists and preterists to mean Christ’s coming with the Roman armies would be sudden and quick like lightning and this very well may be true. But I believe Christ’s parousia here and the Greek word associated with it astrape, is making reference to Christ’s presence being manifested within the hearts of His people in A.D.70 while at the same time burining up the wicked–using the illustration of the sun’s rays shining “from east and flashing to the west.” The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon gives astrape, the meaning of a “bright light.” The Greek word for “shine” is phaino which according to the Greek English Online Bible Greek Lexicon can mean, “of growing vegetation, to come to light.” This can have a reference to the Sun’s light through the gospel and Christ’s parousia giving light and life to Israel (the fig tree) and to all the trees (the Gentile nations) in Matthew 24:14, 32; Luke 21:29-30. The Second Coming of Christ is referred to as being “high time” and “the night is far spent and the day is at hand” (Rms.13:11-12). “…as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2Pet.1:19). And “…I will give Him the morning star.” “I am the bright and morning star” (Rev.22:16). The idea here is that Christ’s presence and His righteousness is in and of itself, the chief reward and joy for His Church at His return. If this isn’t exciting enough for you go get a Hal Lindsey book at a garage sale for a twenty-five cents!
Jesus would not be revealing Himself in some dark inner secret room as the false Christ’s would shamefully being doing for they were of the darkness, but on that day, “they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.” (Isa.45:6; 19-25; cf. Mal.1:1, 4:1-2, 5-6). He would shine seven fold on that day burning up the wicked while at the same time His heat and light would not harm the remnant but only cause them to flourish and bear fruit to be gathered in His kingdom (Mt.13:6-9/Jms.1:11-18/5:1-9; Mt.13:43; Judges 5:31; 2Sam.23:4-7; Ps.121:6-7; Isa.30:26-27; Isa.16:19-20/Rev.21:23, 22:5).
In that Day, Christ as the “Sun of righteousness would rise with healing in His wings” and would cause the remnant of Israel (the fig tree) and the Gentile nations (“all the trees”) to have blossomed TOGETHER as the very Garden of God in His everlasting Kingdom (Lk.21:28-32/Rms.9-11; Cols.1:5-6; Isa.27:7; 35; 44; 55:10-13; 60:20; 61:10-11/Ezk.16:7/Rev.21:9- chapter 22).
A type of eternal life can be found in Josh.10:12-14 when God listened to Joshua and the sun stood still. Every day in the new creation is a day without darkness or bearing the reproach of our sins. In Joshua’s day this miracle was a sign to all that Jehovah was fighting for Israel. When those who are in darkness outside the gates of the City look at your life and see the joy, light, and warmth of God’s presence radiating from your inner being, God uses this to cause His elect to crave this enduring light and righteousness that can only come from your Lord. This also serves to harden the reprobate – as the sun melts the wax and hardens the clay. In Joshuah’s day this was a sign that the Lord was fighting for Israel and today Christ’s presence and eternal Day within His church demonstrates that nothing will ever be able to withstand her.
As plants receive life from the sun’s light and energy through photosynthesis, so the Church receives eternal life from Christ alone. In union with Christ, the Church becomes the leaves on the Tree of Life and the light of the New Jerusalem/Creation brings healing to the nations of the world. It is the light and living waters of the gospel preached to sinners that serves as “special revelation” to a thirsty sinner’s soul. No luminary lights of the physical creation can fully demonstrate the righteous ways of God! Only Christ and His Church serving as a heavenly Kingdom can bring the revelation needed for sinners to be saved. Without the “Sun of Righteousness” the light and glory of God’s imputed righteousness beaming in upon the heart and mind of man, all is lost. The world truly does revolve around the “Sun/Son of Righteousness.”