Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is a wonderful carol sung every Christmas. The last stanza begins:
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings
These words are not understood by many, even by Christians who sing it. The reason I know that is because I’ve seen it misprinted as, “Son of Righteousness.” So what does Sun of Righteousness mean? And how does that refer to Christ?
The words are taken from the last prophet in the Old Testament, Malachi 4:2. After warning of the burning judgment of God upon those who reject Him, the Lord says,
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.
Just as the sun can either burn and kill or it can warm and bring life, so the light of Christ will do one of two things for you. If you cling to your self-righteousness and self-rule, His light will bring terrible judgment. But if you are God’s child through faith in Jesus, the light of Christ brings healing and life. And just like when calves that are confined to a pen or stable are let loose, so that they leap and skip in delight and freedom into the sunlight, so believers are given freedom and joy in Christ. It is a wonderful picture of God’s blessing.
All of the truths contained in this carol—grace, salvation, victory, reconciliation, peace, joy, glory, life and love—this mighty outpouring of blessing is yours in Christ. So be aware today of the many ways the Lord’s love and encouragement comes to you. And let that be the bedrock reason for your gladness this Christmas and New Year!