The prophets amaze me. They paint the future, even for us, as they write about the consummation of history, a time when death will be “swallowed up” (and thus our sin and sinful nature). It is easy to seen how the expectations for the messiah at the time if Christ were for more than his death on the cross. The prophets don’t often make much distinction between what will happen during Jesus first coming (when His kingdom is inaugerated) and his second coming (when his kingdom will be consummated). Which is why you have such confusion about it, even by Jesus’ disciples. They ask in Acts 1:6, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” That part of Jesus’ work is not yet and the when is not for us to know. Because this is the case, we can still talk about a future salvation. In the meantime God is depositing his Holy Spirit with us, to guarantee that future and to equip us for the work of spreading news of it’s coming.
What a glorious coming it will be. It is hard to imagine a world without death and suffering and yet it is also hard not to imagine it. It inspires and gives hope. How much we need to remember the future prophecies.
8 He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
9It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Is 25:8-9)
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Num 33, Ps 78:1-37, Is 25, 1 Jn 3