“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Today, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona – can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk.
Eye safety has become a topic of great concern surrounding the solar eclipse. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. On the NASA eclipse website, people are urged to not let the warnings of eye damage scare them away from witnessing this rare phenomenon. The website reads, “You can experience the eclipse safely, but it is vital that you protect your eyes at all times with the proper solar filters.”
With all of the concern over safe viewing of the eclipse, I could not help but think about how we view God’s glory. In Exodus 33:20-23, God said this to Moses: “’You cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.’ Then the Lord said, ‘There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock. When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My hand and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.’”
Can you imagine a God so glorious that only His back can be glimpsed…and only from a hiding place in the cleft of a rock? Fast forward a few thousand years and see Jesus. He is God in the flesh, dwelling among us so that we could finally see the face of God. Christ is our solar filter…the only safe way to approach the glory of a holy God. He is our rock, the one in whom we hide ourselves so that we are not consumed. Through faith in Jesus, we can look fully into the face of God without fear of death.
Application: Have you, by faith, “put on” Jesus so that you can safely look into the face of God?