Beckett: The Day of Salvation

You will say in that day, “I will give thanks to You, O LORD, for though You were angry with me, Your anger turned away, that You might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation!” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day, “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples, proclaim that His name is exalted. Sing praises to the LORD, for He has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth! Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!”

Isaiah 12

This Word has already been fulfilled in our hearing it, for it is speaking of Christ. For what is “that day”? When was that day of salvation? Where has God’s anger turned from us that He might comfort us? It occurred on Good Friday. There, where Christ hung on the cross, the wrath and anger of God turned from us and fell upon Christ. Therefore, Christ says, “Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). He gives us rest from our sins at the cross, for they were nailed to Him there. He removes our heavy burden of sin and lays upon us His garment of grace. This is what it means that He is our salvation; for just as His name means, He has saved us from our sins (Matthew 1:21).

Therefore, we trust in Him and will not be afraid. Afraid of what? Death. For our battle cry resounds with the hymn, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). Why do we sing such a strange hymn? Because of Christ’s promise of the bodily resurrection. He is the well of salvation from which we drink to receive this salvation. Just as He said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, just as the Scripture said, ‘Rivers of living water will flow out from his stomach'” (John 7:37-38; my translation). And, “Whoever drinks of the water that I Myself shall give him, he shall surely not thirst into the ages, but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to life eternal” (John 4:14; my translation).

And until our Lord returns to raise us from the dead—to remove Death’s stinger—what do we do? We “make known His deeds among the peoples, proclaim that His name is exalted,” and “Sing praises to the LORD, for He has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth” (Isaiah 12:4-5). The world tries to silence our proclamations and songs, but we keep shouting and singing for joy (v. 6). As the Word of the Lord encapsulates every part of our lives, we cannot help but shout this Good News everywhere, for what else done one do with good news and the Lord’s words? Words are meant to be spoken and sung. It is foolish to remain silent with it. While we do what we cannot help, the world tells us to “stop shoving religion down their throats” while they remain content with shoving their dead paganism down ours. Yet we keep proclaiming, we keep catechising, we keep singing, and we keep shouting of the joy of our salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord, the Holy One of Israel, who is great in the midst of His people, the Church!

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