OUR GOD REIGNS
These twelve verses carry a message of hope to a people under judgement for their spiritual unfaithfulness as a nation. Their God, the only true God, will ultimately move to deliver and restore them. Grace, mercy, and Sovereign purpose overcomes sin and judgment.
In time they were restored to the Promised Land when numbers returned under the decree of Cyrus from their captivity in Babylon in 539 BC.
In its most significant application the words relate to the redemption that was accomplished in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
When the final revelation of God’s Kingdom occurs these words will have their ultimate fulfilment. This is the day to which we, as Christians, look for the restoration of all things and God’s new heaven and earth.
Who can Forgive Sins but God Alone
All the events recorded in this chapter gather under the truth that lies in the story that begins it. Who indeed can forgive sins? Only God. In that account Jesus acts as God forgiving sin in his own name because that is who he is.
In the verses we read today the reality of who Jesus is expresses itself in the figure of the Bridegroom to whom the Bride belongs even though he is yet to be taken away. This message is “new wine” for those who do not recognise who is present with them.
In Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, its Creator, is present. The Sabbath was meant for rest and refreshment both physical and spiritual. To true hearts its was meant to be a joy not a burden. Multiple and onerous rules had changed its character.
Honouring a day in seven as an occasion to relax and enjoy God, his ordinances, and his people, is an ongoing blessing. We ought not to lose its significance in a seven day week of relentless and unreflective activity.