Isaiah 60:1-2. Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
3 And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Do you feel like you’re living in thick darkness today? The darkness of the unknown? The darkness of depression? The darkness of sickness? Loss? Brokenness? Temptation? I just spent 20 minutes watching the TV news ticker scroll by and the darkness was truly thick.
The prophet’s message for us in Isaiah 60 is not that the darkness isn’t real or that we need to find our own way out of the darkness. His message is that your light has come.
When Isaiah wrote these words they were a “near sighted” prophecy about the Jewish exiles in Babylon. Their captivity was their darkness. But Isaiah is reminding them that the promises of God remain true and that Yahweh will restore the holy city of Jerusalem (Zion – see Isaiah 19:20). Once again Zion will be a beacon of light and hope for the nations.
But every Old Testament prophecy also has a “far sighted” fulfillment. A deeper meaning. The light and glory of Yahweh that will come to Zion and pierce her darkness is Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant, the Messiah. He will be crucified in thick darkness and he will be resurrected to glorious light that shines upon us.
Christian, the light of Yahweh has come upon you just as it did Zion of old. We who are in Christ, are God’s new holy city. In the book of Revelation, John sees the New Jerusalem prepared as our eternal home, full of the light and glory of God. But he also sees us AS the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven as Christ’s glorious and pure bride.
Revelation 21:2. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:9-11. 9 Then came one of the seven angels who…spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God.
Revelation 21:23-25. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.
As the thick darkness surrounds you today find hope.
Find hope in knowing that you do not have to create your own light today. Light has come to you. Jesus Christ, Yahweh’s Suffering Servant, who came to die in our darkness so that we might live in his light. He has pierced the impenetrable night of our souls. He has shone his love into our lives through our union with him. He has placed the glorious reality of God into our very beings. And all by his grace.
Find hope in knowing that your future is forever secure both IN the New Jerusalem and AS the New Jerusalem. That place where the cycle of glory is finally fulfilled in the absence of sin. God forever sharing his glory with us, and we, his bride, his city, receiving and returning our glory back to him.
And find hope in knowing that right now, in this moment, you are full of the light and glory of God. You have made it to Mount Zion. You have received the light of God’s grace. So now arise! Shine! For your light has come. Reflect the light and glory our Suffering Servant Jesus to all you can in these darkest of times. Pour out his love like a fountain. Forgive. Be patient and long suffering. Listen more than you talk. Show kindness in small ways. Share. Pray. And embrace “to live is Christ.”
What thick darkness are you facing today?
You in Christ
In Christ, the light and glory of God is in you today. How does this pierce the darkness in your soul?
Christ in you
Where can you arise, and shine the light of Jesus today?