Ask most Christians today what John the Revelator meant when he said that there would be no need of the sun or moon in the New Jerusalem & you might get anything from a simple explanation about how the physical sun & moon would be out of business ( at least in those environs ) to a detailed explanation about how in the beginning ( 'Let there be Light' ) the Creator was Himself the Light of Day & that in the End of Time it will be the same once again! One might explain the phrase 'Let there be Light' ( on the first day, while the sun was not 'created' till several days later ) to be showing how the physical, or material sun was simply representative of that True Light. Thus, it would follow that the moon was representative of........................hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....
According to John 8:12, Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.' So, if Jesus was 'the light of the world' & we, His followers are 'the light of the world', what does that say about us? Was it His intention to say that we are of the same purpose or function as He? It would probably be considered blasphemy in most circles to suggest that we are of the same Essence, so I won't go there!
Scripture is full, particularly the Hebrew ( Old Testament ) ones, of references to the fact that when the sun & moon are referred to, even in a physical context, sometimes, the true referent is most often the children of Israel & their religious heads or leaders, as in 'Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth' ( Deuteronomy 32:1 ( Isaiah 1 :2 ). The Story of Joseph's dream in Genesis 37:9-11 is probably the clearest example of this, but there are other references that can be seen to refer, not to the material universe, but to people.
A clear indication that Moses was himself representative of the 'moon' in question is that famous passage in Exodus 12 where 'the skin of his face shone' after he had been in the Presence of Yahweh, 'face-to-face', so to speak! If you're at all familiar with astronomy, in fact, you know that the moon is just a giant reflector & that any light we enjoy from it is not actually from the moon itself but simply glances of its hardened surface on its way to earth from the sun. Under that first covenant, Israel was simply to reflect the Glory of our Heavenly Father & shine His Light into every dark corner of His Creation; to a certain degree, whether directly or indirectly, they were successful!
In the New, or Heavenly Jerusalem, as we have seen & bear witness to, there is 'no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it': this is not to say that the physical universe is no longer 'peopled' by a material sun or moon, just that this particular City does not need those lights, being lit by the True Light! As we have seen previously in other articles by this author, we no longer simply reflect the Glory of our Heavenly Father; as per His promise found in John 14:23, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him' , He dwells with ( in ) His people: NOW, instead of reflecting His Glory, we ARE His Glory, we shine 'like the stars forever and ever', with His Glory, His Love radiating THROUGH us!
The 'moon' is no more; as the apostle Peter wrote to his readers in the first century A. D., 'so we have the prophetic word confirmed,[a] which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts' ( I Peter 1:19 ). His followers THEN received His Light! Again, as any basic astronomer will tell you, the stars that we can observe shining, to whatever extent, in the night sky are simply giant orbs of burning gas. Our sun is simply one of many stars ( a relatively small one, at that ), and in essence, like us, has the same source. Our Source though, rather than being simply one of many stars in this vast universe, is the Source of ALL Life & Light; we, being filled with His Life & Light, shine brilliantly, not as on our own, but as Conductors, mere reflectors no longer!
Charles Haddon Shank