Christ the Morning Star
Revelation 22:16-21
I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David…

The morning star is one of the most beautiful objects in the sky. "Last in the train of night," it yet sheds the brightest radiance. Too faint by far to penetrate the recesses of ocean, or the deep places of the forest, it slumbers on the surface of the wave, it trembles through the cottage window, or "tips with silver every mountain's head." It rivals not the strong sunlight, nor doth it vie with even that holier day which the moon casts abroad; nevertheless, in the heaven, doth it form a beauteous beacon; nor is the eye satisfied with gazing, when the fierce monarch of the skies arises and chases it away.

1. Apt and beautiful emblem this, of the gentle but glorious light, which Jesus has darted upon the souls of His people! Previous to the coming of Christ, the character of God was, in a great measure, unknown. The adversary had trampled on the shrine of the Lord of Hosts; it was as if that name had ceased to be manifested; it was as if the fire by which he was wont to maintain it, had been quenched. But the Morning Star at length arose: and an uncreated glory, streaming from the revealed attitude of a God at once just and the justifier of the ungodly, flowed with it. But had nothing more than the true character of God been included in this revelation, it had been made in vain. What cares man for the character of God? Were he, indeed, a being much better than he is, we could conceive him, in this case, entertaining such a care; starting up perhaps suddenly, and shivering with fear, at the bare idea of his God being charged with cruelty or injustice. But man as he is, sensual, selfish, unthinking, diseased, deluded, or despairing, entertains not one anxiety about the character of his Maker. But for his own destiny he must care; and he will ask eagerly, "What sort of light has the Morning Star brought, concerning this? What am I told about my future state?" Open the volume and see; start not at the apparent darkness; gaze steadily, and you will be richly rewarded. There are, indeed, no minute views of the future state. The Bible communicates only a few great facts, and leading features of the eternal world. But Christ has cast a light also upon the duty of man. This Moses had, in a great measure, done; but he had not taught man to answer the question fully, "What shall I do to be saved?" Christ came at once to prompt the question, and to provide the reply. Here is no list of austerities; no staggering invitation to swallow down absurdities, to believe what is impossible or revolting; no requirement of an ideal perfection from a child of clay; all is plain and easy, yet leadeth to heaven. Oh, then, will ye not bless the Morning Star, which has risen to guide you along this path to glory? and will you not walk on in its tender light, trusting that it will shine on more and more unto the perfect day?

2. Christ further resembles the morning star, as He is a giver of joy. The sun-rising is, in truth, a summons to rejoice; and it is obeyed and echoed in a thousand voices of gladness. The moon-beam also communicates its own pensive pleasures, and quieter harmonies to those who can baptize their spirits in its beauty. Nor is the morning star destitute of joy-giving influence. How does it cheer the labourer as he goes forth to his toil, amid the dews of the dawn! How does it soothe the soul of the mariner who gazes at it, till quiet tears bedim his eyelids! How is it the "sun of the sleepless," especially of those who are awake through sorrow! Count up the raptures of earth, and you will find the rarest of them coming from Christ. Consult your own bosoms, and you will find your purest pleasure coming from Him. Sum up the ecstasies of the departed saints, and you will find all of them coming from Him.

3. Again, Christ resembles the morning star, as He is the precursor of a brighter revelation. The morning star is a pledge in the sky that the day is dawning, and at length it "melts away into the light of heaven." So the light we have is comparatively dim; but there is a day behind it.

4. This Morning Star is a precursor of the day of Millennial brightness. There is no change in the outward aspect of the world; the same alternation of hill and valley, of waste and woodland, is presented to the view. But the shadow of sin has passed away. Man has become a nobler being; he is holler and happier. His land is not heaven; but it is no longer accursed in the anger of God. It is a land redeemed, though not glorified. On all its landscapes is written, "Holiness to the Lord."

(G. Gilfillan.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

WEB: I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David; the Bright and Morning Star."

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