Unapproachable Light

[207 words]

The sun, as you know, is pretty hot. In 2018 NASA aimed straight for it, launching the Parker Solar Probe. It is now the first spacecraft to have flown into the low solar corona, the sun’s lower “atmosphere.” as it were. The probe is fitted with a four-inch-thick carbon-carbon material, the most sophisticated heat shield ever designed, capable of withstanding temperatures up to 2,500 °F—at a cost of $1.5 billion. Still, the probe will only come as close as 4.3 million miles to the center of the sun before it sublimates in the sun’s intense heat.

In Scripture we read that God “alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see” (1 Tim. 6:16). In this poetic language, the Bible is speaking of God’s essence as being so utterly different than ours as to be unimaginable, unapproachable, and unknowable apart from God’s gracious self-revelation to us. This is precisely what Christians mean when we say that God is “holy.” And because of sin, if we try to approach holy God on our own, it’s as if we construct a spacecraft out of dried balsa wood and launch ourselves into the sun. But in Christ…

Jordan Arnold
Hooker church of Christ
Hooker, OK

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