To differing degrees we have all struggled with the fear of “What if this never gets better?”
- A Relationship
- My Finances
- A Persistent sin
- A Persistent pain
This is the human condition, our own personal muddy rivers that pour out from the spiritual Dead Sea. Creation, including each of us personally, are broken, leaving us hungry for and dependent on a cure, wondering if there really is one.
This is the house in which the whole book of Jeremiah resides. Jeremiah is the longest book in the Bible and covers the exile of God’s people to Babylon, with the promise of eventual restoration. A brief outline of Jeremiah is also a brief outline of The Gospel itself. This post will be a bit longer than normal, but it will be dense with Gospel-Truth and hope. The outline is this:
- Our First Marriage
- Forsaken & Divorced
- Curing the Incurable
- Our Restoration
- Our ReMarriage
Our First Marriage
“Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride…
From creation God has designed us to be His; to be loved, cared for, satisfied, with him and one another. He has made us His Bride and brought us to himself.
However….we wanted “more”
Forsaken & Divorced
She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce.
This conviction is shockingly humiliating. We the Bride of Christ have run off with other lovers and have become incurably diseased (forgive the mixed metaphors). We have “forsaken” the very One that has given us our very being and he has justly sent us off with a certificate of divorce, leaving us alone, broke, loveless and hopeless.
…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Also seen in Jeremiah 16:11, we are all culpable in looking for our love, our hope, our life, our joy, our being, our identity in other things, even good things. We all perpetually look to things in this world, the opinion of others, success and accolades, financial security, fleshly pleasures, personal victory, arrogant righteousness….
To put it much more bluntly and accurately, Jeremiah spells it out in gruesome detail:
You have played the whore with many lovers…
And in light of this treachery, Jeremiah 30 paints a terrible and hopeless diagnosis and prognosis:
“For thus says the LORD:
Your hurt is incurable,
and your wound is grievous.
13 There is none to uphold your cause,
no medicine for your wound,
no healing for you.
14 All your lovers have forgotten you;
they care nothing for you;
What horrifying news to hear: “we are incurable.” And we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
And then the doctor comes back into the tear-filled room.
“Actually, though you are incurable, let me tell you about an ‘alternative medicine.'”
For I will restore health to you,
and your wounds I will heal,
declares the LORD,
Sit in this miracle for a moment. As we own the incurable state of our whole hearts, the truth and offer of a cure is outrageous, even unbelievable. The truth that we’ve gone so far and have been struck with such a fatal virus, to then be pursued and given a miracle cure. And it comes in a shocking form: the Son of God Himself.
Jeremiah perpetually points to a new covenant, a new promise, a new hope…a “Righteous Branch” that will come out of the dead stump of humanity:
In those days and at that time I will cause a Righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
The Father himself has brought forth life in and through his Son Jesus, bringing us hope and life, healing our unhealable disease. But the only way to accomplish this was the put our disease onto and into the Son. He had to be the “death eater” into whom our virus would be transferred. This is why on the cross Jesus proclaimed a terrible truth…that the Father, because he is perfectly just, had to replay his Son what we have paid unto him: forsaking…
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
And in so doing, our sin of forsaking has been owned and paid. The fatal virus of sin, fear and death has been transferred over to Jesus, which makes us well.
But it’s even better than that
“Thus says the LORD:
Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob
It’s not “enough” to simply be healthy because all of our resources have been lost. We would still be destitute. Healthy, but destitute.
And so God restores our strength, our gifts, our hope, our security. He makes us healthy, then he makes us instrumental in his hands. We are now priests of the Living God, living stones, empowered by the Spirit Himself.
But it’s even better than that!
And you shall be my people,
and I will be your God.”
It’s great, but not enough, to be made well.
It’s great, but not enough, to be powerful and instrumental in the Father’s hands.
We are actually RE-MARRIED. He doesn’t just bring us back as healthy servants. He brings us back as His Bride. He re-commits to us with a perfect, eternal, unending, steadfast and faithful love. He has run after us in the wilderness, picked us up and brought us back home to together be with him forever. He is our Great Groom and we are His Bride.
Yes, in this life we give into the lure of other “lovers.” And we keep coming back to our wedding vows because our marriage is made secure by HIS vows over us, that He will never leave nor forsake us.
What Joy. What Hope. What Peace. What Love.
We the Incurable have been Cured.