Summary: how Jesus’ resurrection tastes good
April 20, 2003 Isaiah 25:6-9
On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of fat things for all peoples, a feast of dregs – of marbled fat and refined dregs. 7 On this mountain he will devour the shroud that shrouds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. 9 In that day they will say, "Behold, 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."
Dear friends of our Resurrected Savior,
The Apostle Paul once said, the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (Ro 14:17). Our salvation is not based on how much we eat or drink - whether we’re fat, skinny, big, or small. Yet in today’s text Isaiah connects our salvation with eating a feast, as he starts out - On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast. Therefore we must conclude this is talking in spiritual terms - about eating and drinking something spiritually.
Proverbs 27:7 says, He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet. There is nothing more obnoxious and aggravating than preparing a nice big feast for someone, only to find out they aren’t hungry or they ate already. God has a feast prepared for you to eat this Easter - it isn’t a light snack or a Nabisco treat - this is a hearty meal. If you came here just to show off your new dresses or sing your favorite songs or have an Easter egg hunt, then you’d best turn around and walk out. Today’s message is for those who are hungry for hope - hungry for a future - it’s the meat and potatoes of Christianity - the resurrection of the Christ. It carries importance not only for the here and now - but for eternity. So empty your mind and get ready for a full course meal.
The Resurrection Satisfies Our Appetites
I. Jesus ate the meal we prepared for him
Some of you might have certain meals that you can recall were really bad. I can recall seeing an America’s Funniest Home Videos, where all of the groomsmen took a glass of water, swished their mouths with it, spit it back in the glass, and then made the groom drink it. That was disgusting. I couldn’t believe friend would make their friend drink that. As disgusting as that is, Jesus has one upped anyone in the disgusting category. How so? Isaiah predicted, On this mountain he will devour the shroud that shrouds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.
Back in Israel and the far east they used to wrap the dead in sheets that were called “shrouds”, wait for a year, and then come back and collect their bones, after the body had decayed. That’s what Isaiah compared death to - a shroud that covers ALL PEOPLE. It’s really an interesting illustration - comparing death to a huge sheet or blanket that gets pulled over the world. If you’ve ever gotten trapped under a blanket, it’s really a terrifying thing. People try to outrun the shroud by staying in shape and eating the right foods, but sooner or later, the shroud comes down. Sometimes it comes down slowly, wrapping up our arms and legs, bogging us down and tying us up, blinding us and suffocating us breath by breath. Sometimes it comes down quickly, out of nowhere, and puts the stranglehold on. But no matter who we are, where we live, or how great we become, the shroud comes down, and our bodies decay under the shroud. Even now we could say the shroud has gotten us. For we’re all decaying. Our sinful bodies are wasting away, our brain cells are evaporating, out eyes are growing weaker, we are becoming more forgetful, more weak, more tired, more dead - day by day by day. It’s humiliating and disgraceful.
Think about the choice Jesus made then, to come to this earth. Here He was, living in heaven, enjoying a feast of power and holiness, surrounded by everything good. Yet Jesus, in His mercy, decided to be born of the Virgin Mary in a cattle stall of all places. For over thirty years he lived in this dirty and sinful stinky world. But the worst part of this came at the end. God had not only called on Jesus to live in this dead and dying world, but to drink the cup of death itself. And not only to experience death, which would be bad enough, but even hell. So Jesus prayed in the garden, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt 26:39) If there was some other way to save the world, besides swallowing this cup of death, Jesus would have taken it. But there it was, sitting before Him, and His Father said, “this is the only way.” The sheet came down on Jesus - with nails, spears, a crown of thorns, mocking, and even the fire of hell. Jesus could have escaped the shroud, but instead he let it cover him and take him to the grave.