Friday, December 21, 2012

(not so) easy to swallow.

I love reading the passages I've read a thousand times. There's always something new. I tell you what, the Bible is packed with so much. No verse ever wears out. There's always something to learn.

Isaiah 25:8 goes like this:

"He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken."

Lately I've come to appreciate the words and the quotes and books and poems and songs that you have to stop and think about for a little while to actually understand. You know, the ones that are a little more deep than most of the songs written these days. As I stopped to think about this familiar verse I came to an understanding of it that I never have before.

When you swallow a piece of food, you don't just make the food disappear. Rather, you take the food and eat it, putting it into your body and digestive system. The Lord swallowed death. He didn't just make death disappear or just make us be able to escape the horrors of separation from Him. He swallowed it. He put it onto Himself when Jesus hung on a cross, was forsaken by His Father, and was put to death.

When it says that the Lord will wipe away tears from all faces it doesn't mean that He will just wipe them off and make them cease to exist. He put them onto Himself when Jesus felt pain (physical and emotional); when He went to Lazarus' grave and wept; when He stood over Jerusalem and wept for them; when He sat in the garden before His death, no doubt, weeping and crying out to the Lord.

When it says that the Lord will take away the rebuke of His people from all the earth it doesn't mean He will just eradicate it. He put it onto Himself when Jesus was hated by the religious leaders and when He was spit upon and mocked while being put to death.

God is a powerful God and as much as it seems He would just conquer death, wipe away tears, and take away rebuke with the snap of a finger, He did it a little differently. He came here and experienced those things. And that's not the easiest thing to swallow [pun intended].

If you read the next verse it says:

"And it will be said in that day; 'Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.'"

You see, He has given us salvation - salvation from death, tears, and rebuke. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is every reason to rejoice and be glad.

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