Before Jesus’ birth, the angels appeared to some shepherds on the hillside outside Bethlehem. They came announcing good news of peace and renewal – tidings of comfort and joy.
We asked 25 people to prepare a meditation for us to read and listen to every day through Advent. We are delighted to share their work with you.
God bless you as you read, listen and pray.
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 for ever.
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.’
What a lovely promise from Isaiah we have today, and I am going to take only one amazing thought from it. When the Lord returns, He will swallow up death for ever and wipe away all tears.
When I was growing up – which seems a long time ago, we used to sing “Choruses”. They were usually scripture truth set to simple music. I remember singing “Jesus is coming again, His glorious face I shall see, Jesus is coming to reign, what a wonderful day that will be!”
Our passage today is simply about that! Isaiah prophesies a celebration which will mark the victory the Saviour will accomplish when He comes, and he suggests a banquet!
What is this victory celebration about?
We read of separation from the “shroud that enfolds all people” v7. I take that to mean He is bringing an end to and separation from the power of death, as the passage goes on “He will swallow up death in victory” .Death will not be the end, we have an eternal hope that one day we will be with the Lord for ever.
I sense that sometimes even now we can glimpse this triumph over death especially at funerals of people who have died trusting Jesus . Have you been to a funeral where the atmosphere has been heavy and the lack of hope really evident? I have, but we can know and experience a quiet joy and peace as we celebrate a life that has been spent in following and serving the Saviour. It can be a time to rejoice that our relationship with Him is for eternity.
Lastly, let us rejoice today – the lockdown may be loosened a bit, we may have a little more freedom, the shops may be open but the passage does not say rejoice in this, but rejoice and be glad in His Salvation – in the words of another chorus we used to sing – “I’m safe because I’m sheltered by Jesus precious blood, and I’m sure because He promised and He cannot break His word”. Our Saviour will swallow up death for ever, be glad and rejoice in His Salvation.