Genesis 1:14 says that the greater & lesser lights are to be a sign for us. God had already created light on day 1, but created the sun & moon on the 4th day to rule over the day & night.
Light in Hebrew is “maor”. It is a sign to point our attention to something else. The most important word in this passage is “seasons”, which is “moed” in Hebrew and means a place of meeting, an appointed time or place. In Exodus 30:36, the “tabernacle of meeting” where God meets His people is “moed”. Festivals in the bible are also “moed”. Therefore, the signs are pointing to “moed” where we can meet with God.
In the creation story, God meets with Adam in the Garden of Eden on the 7th day, the Sabbath Day (moed). Adam meaning mankind represents us. The creation story ends with the Sabbath day. From Day 1 to Day 6, there was evening and morning as darkness keeps creeping back again and again. But on the 7th day, because God had completed all His work of redemption, the work of ordering the chaos in the world, there is no more darkness (Genesis 1:2).
The signs in the heavens are our key to understanding how to enter into the Sabbath – the greater and lesser lights. They are not physical signs but spiritual ones, and Jesus makes a distinction (Matthew 16:3). So, what do the signs of the greater and lesser lights do (Genesis 1:17-18)? God set them to give light, to rule over day & night, and to separate light from darkness. They are to illuminate, govern and separate. Throughout the Old Testament, there are 3 kinds of people who do exactly these 3 things:
- The bodies of light illuminate – Prophet
- The bodies of light govern – King
- The bodies of light separate – Priest
Prophets, kings & priests bridge the gap between spiritual blindness and spiritual sightfulness. They illuminated eyes (Psalm 19:8), governed hearts and set apart sins. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ came doing all 3 jobs so well that all previous prophets, priests and kings pale in comparison, for He is the true king, prophet and priest; He is the sun Himself (John 8:12).
Jesus separates the day and the night. When we follow Him, there will only be light. It is like travelling on a jumbo jet following the sun. As long as the jet follows the sun, night doesn’t come. Jesus is the spiritual sun that will stop the cycle of darkness coming back into our life. With Jesus, we are stepping out of darkness and into the light.
1. Walking in darkness
To be in darkness means the sun has not risen yet. There’s also moonlight, which represents having a limited understanding of God. Most people prefer this as they then can live however they want. What kind of understanding of God do we have? The light that shines is what governs us & our actions. It is like a group of blind men trying to describe an elephant. One grabs the leg & say it is a tree; another the tail so it is a whip; and yet another grabs the trunk & feels a pipe! The moon that revolves around the earth represents a self-centred faith, where our idea of God only serves our own purposes. This is darkness (John 11:47-48). But when the sun Jesus Christ comes, He exposes the moonlight’s self-serving understanding of God (John 3:19-20).
No one likes being exposed, but it is time to stop walking in the darkness, in the moonlight understanding of God. We need the sun to shine brightly showing us the fullest revelation of God, Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23; John 12:46), so that we can believe & fully walk in the light.
2. Walking in light
In the dark, we move slower & often collide into things because we cannot see them. But in the light, we can move fast to reach the things we need quickly. Likewise this morning, we are here to approach God. But who is this Messiah we are seeking today?
It takes 14 days from new moon to full moon. Our understanding must grow brighter and brighter as the identity of the Messiah in the Old Testament (through the stories of the prophets, kings & priests) becomes clearer and clearer. For Adam, the Messiah is the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15); for Abraham & David, the Messiah, the seed of the woman is a descendant coming through their lineage (Matthew 1:1). Together, they build up into a beautiful and clear picture, a full moon of who the Messiah will be – Jesus Christ (Deuteronomy 18:18; Malachi 4:5; John 5:39; 8:56). When have a clear exact image of Jesus Christ in the bible, we will be able to follow Jesus with full confidence.
let us welcome the spiritual sunrise today! Remember “moed” means the place of meeting with God? And that the Sabbath is when all of God’s work is done and redemption is complete. But when is redemption’s exact moment? It is the hour when the Son of Man is lifted up on the cross (John 12:27,32; 8:28). The cross was the moment that God’s work of redemption was fulfilled, the apex & climax of redemptive history. The cross of Jesus Christ is our moed.
When Jesus was lifted up on the cross, He illuminated our eyes to the reality that God loves you so much that He will die for us. At the cross, Jesus gave the clearest, fullest picture of God. The light of the sun was the brightest then. He came as the true high priest who separates us from our sins, by taking our sins upon Himself and dying on the cross. He died in darkness so that we might be recipients of His righteousness, allowing us to live in the light and to shine brightly with the glory of the Sun. Jesus’ death on the Day of Preparation, right before Sabbath Day opens the way for us to enter into the Sabbath (John 19:31).
The cross is “moed”, the meeting place with God, the place of spiritual sunrise. Because of Jesus Christ we can quickly approach God and with confidence. The time to approach; the time for believing is NOW! (Romans 5:8; Hebrews 4:14-16) Jesus welcomes us NOW! He invites us to follow Him; to behold the spiritual sun rising in our life NOW! (Revelation 21:23; 22:5)