“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…” Malachi 2:2
ALACHI, the last of the Old Testament prophets, at the conclusion of the Old Testament scriptures, four hundred years before the coming of Christ, wrote in prophetic certainty of that great Saviour who was to come, describing him in vivid imagery as the “Sun of righteousness”.
All that Malachi wrote regarding the coming of the Son of God into this world and the salvation which He would bring by His death upon the cross came to be. The prophecy was fulfilled, just as promised. It was sure and certain.
Yes, four hundred years after Malachi laid down his pen, the angel of the Lord announced the coming of the Son of God into this world, as Mary carried Him in her womb, with these words recorded by Matthew: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.
Jesus, the Saviour, had come, and for this purpose: to save his people from their sins.
“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23.
Isaiah’s prophecy, like Malachi’s, came about. Christ was born of a virgin; the Son of the Living God, who was God Himself, was born amongst men, God taking human nature into union with His divine nature and person in order that He might suffer and die in the place of sinners, and in so doing take their sins and the punishment against them upon Himself, that He might save his people from their sins.
Sin had brought all men into condemnation. All have sinned and all stand before a holy God as guilty and justly deserving everlasting judgement.
But how thankful mankind should be that God delights in showing mercy, and in His great mercy towards His people He sent His only Son into the world to suffer and die in their place, as it is written:
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
Yes, Christ, the perfect, the sinless Son of God died for His people. The just for the unjust. As Luke records…
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.” Luke 23:33.
“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.”
Christ, whom Malachi calls “the Sun of righteousness” was nailed to a cross upon which He was crucified. God laid upon Him the sins of His people hence the light of the sun was darkened. But at the ninth hour all the sin of God’s people had been borne away, all their sin was blotted out, Christ “gave up the ghost” and the light of the sun returned.
Joseph of Arimathaea begged Pilate for the body of Jesus, and having his wish granted “he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.” Luke 23:53.
But did Christ, the “Sun of righteousness” remain in the grave? Did He who is the light of the world remain buried under its surface, held fast by the bonds of death and the grave?
No, thanks be unto God, He did not! Christ “the Sun of righteousness” arose “with healing in his wings”! On the third day He rose again from the dead, having conquered sin, death and hell and having brought in everlasting righteousness to the account of all His people. Yes, the “Sun of righteousness” arose – and the grave could not hold Him!
Neither will the grave hold any of those for whom Christ died, for when He died, they died, and when He rose, they rose with Him from the dead, in everlasting life. What victory Jesus Christ the Saviour wrought for His people!
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
So when the women came to the tomb on the first day of the week they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty!
“And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
And they remembered his words.” Luke 24:4-8
“And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus…
And it came to pass, that … Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him…
…And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself….
…And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
…And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem…
Saying, The Lord is risen indeed…” Luke 24:13-34 (extracts)
Yes, the “Sun of righteousness” arose, with healing in His wings, just as Malachi had prophesied. The prophecy was sure and certain. The disciples’ heart burned within them as Christ revealed Himself to them by opening up the scriptures, and showing them how He was the fulfilment of what the prophets had written concerning Him.
Oh, what power there is in the resurrection of Christ! What power there is in His Gospel. What righteousness is revealed therein, even the righteousness of God, brought in to the account of all God’s people, and granted freely to them in Christ by sovereign grace alone. Oh, to be given faith to see such things! What mercy God has shown to dead, fallen sinners whom He quickens to life by His Spirit. Even to such far off, idolatrous, gentiles as were found at Ephesus, as we read…
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:1-9
Now my reader, I ask you, have you seen the Christ, the Sun of righteousness? Has He arisen in your soul? Do you know anything of His light, of His perfection, of His eternal life, of His almighty power? Do you know something of the power of His resurrection? Have you ever felt that healing in His wings?
Indeed, do you feel the need of such healing? Have you ever felt the burden of your sins? Do you know and feel that God would be just to condemn you for your sins? …Do you fear His holy name?
Reader, do you know that Christ, the Sun of righteousness, has arisen, with healing in His wings?