Author: Ron Graham
The Light of Christ
—In the Eternal City
The Beauty of Heaven (Revelation 21-22) >Seven Final Visions >7th vision >Excursus on Light
In John’s gospel, Jesus Christ is called "the Light of men" (John 1:1-5). Likewise, the last two chapters of the book of Revelation portray the Light of Christ.
A vision of Heaven is presented symbolically as a jewelled city of light. "The city does not need the sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God gives it light" (Revelation 21:23-25). This is repeated in chapter 22 and there also Jesus calls himself "The bright and morning star" (Revelation 22:5,16).
1 Darkness A Symbol of Evil
When the book says that there is no night in heaven, it gives us some insight into what heaven will be like, for in the Bible the darkness of night often symbolises evil...
- "The path of righteousness is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness" (Proverbs 4:18-19).
- "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness" (Isaiah 5:20).
- "I am sending you to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God" (Acts 26:18).
- "God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all" (1John 1:5).
2 Darkness in Prophecy
The prophets of the Bible sometimes describe a coming calamity in terms of catastrophic darkness...
- "The sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine" (Joel 2:10).
- "Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light. The stars will fall from the sky" (Matthew 24:29).
3 Hell’s Darkness
- Hell, the eternal abode of the wicked, is described as "outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12).
- The fallen angels are kept "in darkness, bound with everlasting chains" (Jude 1:6).
4 Occasions of Darkness
- When God created our world, he spoke into the darkness of a formless, chaotic planet, "'Let there be light' and there was light. God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night" (Genesis 1:1-5).
- One of the ten terrible plagues on Egypt was darkness. "Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered Egypt. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet Israel had light where they lived" (Exodus 10:21-23).
- In one climactic event, when all evil coalesced, when our Lord was crucified, "at the sixth hour, darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour" (Mark 15:33).
So when the Bible tells us of a place where light is eternal, where there is "no night", we understand that in that place the light of God and his Son will shine forever.