Malachi: The Sun of Righteousness Will Rise
“The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2).
The Old Testament ends with one final picture of our Lord.
When he comes, he will “rise” as the sun rises in the sky.
When he comes, he will banish the darkness.
When he comes, his light will fill the world.
But his coming does more than bring light into the darkness. When he comes, he brings the light of God’s righteousness with him. Here is good news for every weary sinner who feels the heavy weight of his own failures. Are you a sinner? If you are honest, you must answer yes. Have you fallen short of the glory of God? You must answer yes. Do you despair of ever pleasing God? Think before you answer! In one of her books, Ruth Graham, the late wife of Billy Graham, writes of a day when she felt overwhelmed by a sense of her own sinfulness:
“I am a weak, lazy, indifferent character; casual when I should be concerned, concerned when I should be carefree; self-indulgent, hypocritical, begging God to help me when I am hardly willing to lift a finger for myself; quarrelsome where I should be silent, silent where I should be outspoken; vacillating, easily distracted and sidetracked.”
Who among us could not say the same thing, multiplied many times over? Then she adds these words:
"What would I do," wrote Chalmers, "if God did not justify the ungodly?" And "What would I do," said Thomas Boston of Scotland, "but for the imputed righteousness?" There it is. All that I am not, He is; all that I am and should not be, He forgives and covers (from It’s My Turn, pp. 104-105).
In the final Old Testament picture of Christ, we meet a Savior who does for us what we could never do for ourselves. At Bethlehem a baby arrived from heaven “with healing in his wings.”
Here is the doctrine of justification in one simple question: "What would I do if God did not justify the ungodly?" Ask yourself that question. What would you do? Where would you go? Where would you be if God were not willing to justify the ungodly?
But here is the good news of Christmas: Jesus came to save sinners. Are you a sinner? He came for you! Is your heart heavy today? He rises with healing in his wings.
Jesus is all you need for everything you will face today. He heals the brokenhearted, and he sets the captive free.
Lord Jesus, we come to you just as we are. We come broken and ask you to heal us. We come guilty and ask you to make us right with God. We do not come because we are worthy, but because you are the Sun of Righteousness. Heal us and help us and make us whole again. Amen.
Musical bonus: I hope you enjoy this rousing version of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing by Pentatonix.