What an exciting passage of scripture to read today. We are still in the book of Isaiah primarily and Isaiah, with excitement that leaps off the page, begins to describe some of the things that will be coming in the "last days". Yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July, America's Independence Day. It is often around this time of year that we take the time to think about and talk about the freedoms that we have been given by being citizens of the United States. We remember the sacrifices that were paid so that we could have those freedoms, because as we all know Freedom is never free.
This axiom is one that has never changed. "Free" always costs someone, somewhere, something. Similar to our freedoms here in America, as Christians we have been given an even greater freedom that could only come from the Lord. Isaiah, in our reading today tells of a time that God is preparing for us. A time of great joy and celebration. Isaiah 25:6-9 -
6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines. 7 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.
9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
For those who have found freedom in the loving arms of Jesus Christ, the Messiah that Isaiah later talks about in his book, there will truly be a celebration like no other. But the freedom that we have in Christ is only because Christ paid a price for our freedom. Freedom is never free.
Christ went to the cross to die in our place, to take on the sins of the world past present and future so that as the familiar verse in John says, "..that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
I love a quote from C.S. Lewis's book "The Last Battle" , which although is speaking about the land of Narnia and the characters he created within that land, speaks directly to us today as followers of Christ. He writes "All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
This is what awaits us when we have trusted in Jesus and follow him with all our our heart, our mind, our soul and our strength. Our life here on earth is only a blip on the radar of eternity, the cover and title page only.
God almighty made a way for us to have our disgrace removed. He made a way for us to have our tears wiped away. He made away for us to know peace unlike anything we will every know or experience. He made a way for us to spend eternity in His glorious presence. He rules with righteousness and justice and has made a way for us to not experience eternal death, but instead eternal life. He paid the ultimate price for ultimate freedom and he did it by sending us his Son Jesus Christ so that each subsequent chapter of eternity is better than the one before.