Emmanuel - God with us! His name is Jesus! Suddenly the fog lifts and you can see the destination and you no longer have to rely on the street signs to know the way. The whole story had been pointing to Jesus all along! When we read the Bible, we don’t read it to learn how to conquer our enemies like Joshua, be brave like David, how to have integrity like Daniel. We fall short of what the Bible is teaching us if we don’t realize that these stories and heroes first and foremost point us to Christ.
The promises in Revelation 21-22 have been an anchor of hope for me. He promises to personally wipe away every tear, to do away with sin, death, mourning, pain. I really wanted to write a song from this passage, declaring these promises.
As the album theme of home and hunger began to take shape, this song seemed the perfect way to end the album. Finally, God will make His home with us forever! The curse and “hunger” that began in Genesis 3 (“Eve’s Lament”) will be undone! The album begins and ends with a gospel call for the thirsty and hungry and spiritually poor to “come” and feast at His table (see “There is a Mountain”).
“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price…. He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” - Revelation 22:17, 20
Until that time comes, we would do well to stoke the fire of anticipation, especially in the midst of the sin and suffering within us and around us. We’ve already been told how this grand story turns out and it’s a wonderful ending! If the new heavens and new earth are our future, then how we live in the meantime reflects our hope in the one whom we’re anticipating.
Why would we who were undeservingly rescued from God’s wrath and who were brought into his family as sons and daughters embody anything other than the grace that’s been given to us? Grace is the dress in which we’re clothed; grace is the music of our processional.
So, then, retelling and rehearsing the gospel of grace in our churches, our families, our marriages, our friendships, in every aspect of our lives, isn’t merely a matter of duty and obligation. More importantly, it’s a matter of letting our hearts overflow with anticipation that gives way to celebration over the coming of our Bridegroom, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As we read about these Old Testament rituals and sacrifices, and the lengths people had to go to to approach a holy God, we must recognize what an incredible gift the access we have through Christ is. Through Jesus the Lamb and Jesus the High Priest, we draw near to God. And we don’t have to come like they did in the Old Testament. We come with reverence, but also boldly, wrapped in the righteousness of Christ and confident in His intercession.
As I read about this, I was struck by the fact that I don’t take advantage of this incredible access I have to God….