“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.” (Is. 25:9)
Christian life is a life of faith; which is to say that Christian life is a life of waiting. Hebrews says: all things have been put in subjection to Jesus, but we do not yet see all things put under Him. What we see now is Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone (Heb. 2:8-9). Jesus is our icon, our story, our sacrament. Jesus displays for us the way God has been pleased to conquer sin and death and every hardship. God was pleased to conquer death by tasting death Himself, and by doing so, He has taken away the sharpness of death, the curse of sin that was the sting of death. But when God conquered death, He did not end the reality of suffering and pain and physical death. After Jesus burst out of the grave on that first, glorious Lord’s Day, there would still be pain and brokenness in the world. But God is not content to remain outside of any experience. He is not content to allow any square inch of human existence to be God-forsaken. Rather, God is determined to fill all things. God is determined to become all in all. God is and has always determined to be God-With-Us. And this means that in the very darkness of confusion, the very darkness of pain, the very darkness of betrayal, the very darkness of loss and grief: in all of that darkness God is determined to fill it with His own presence, to be God-With-Us there in that darkness. Isaiah 25 describes a city destroyed, a city in ruins. You can imagine the ruin, the grief, the destruction, the bloodshed and suffering, and yet Isaiah 25 is a song of praise. In the ruins of your life, in the ruins of your family, in the brokenness of our lives together and in the brokenness of our neighbors and friends in this city, can you sing with Isaiah? 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. To wait is not to proclaim a truce with sin and death and pain; to wait in faith is to see Jesus who in the very suffering of death was crowned with glory and honor, taking away the curse that tried to keep God out of our pain. But God in His mercy has invaded our darkness; He has determined to fill all things, to be God-With-Us. And therefore, we wait in confidence, trusting that He will save us.