10 Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yes, the LORD will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.
The Resurrection of Christ is the single most significant event in the history of the world. Yes, I know we mark our calendars from the birth of Jesus Christ, and some might like to think that some certain war or some scientific discovery merits more worth. But the fact is that the history of the whole world has been influenced by Christianity, and Christianity started with people witnessing the risen Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. There’s just no way around that fact, and once we know it and believe it, then we can see why it is so central to the whole of the Bible, too.
The hope of Christ was revealed throughout prophecy in the Old Testament, and the whole of the Bible is inspired by God. Therefore, it certainly seems clear that the writers of the Bible knew Christ in one way or another, whether as distant hope or present Savior. Faith is what binds the whole of the Bible together. Faith makes the Bible real to each of us, and faith enables us to read the Scriptures and see Jesus throughout.
In today’s verses from Psalms 85, the sons of Korah say a prayer for God’s salvation and for a return of His righteousness to the land. When I read those verses, I am struck by the hope, the joy, the great truth that connects those writers with Jesus over a span of hundreds of years. They knew Jesus in an indirect, prophetic way, and they knew God would one day redeem His chosen people.
As it says, mercy and truth have indeed met together–at the Cross of Christ. If not for the mercy of our Lord, we would never know salvation. And so, there on that tree His righteousness poured out on us all through the washing of the blood of Christ, and now we truly know peace with God.
The empty tomb rings forth with the truth of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. If we looked upon the bloody Cross and did not see our salvation, then surely we saw it in that empty grave, where the assurance of peace with God was proven. The angel asked the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5) By that we know that Jesus is willing to reveal Himself to us, the “living” who are alive through faith in His salvation. When God looks down on us from heaven, the Resurrection is what enables us to appear living and vital to His eyes, rather than dead in our sins.
The Lord gives what is good, but not necessarily what we believe to be good. God’s measure of our needs is based on His will for us and others, not on our own immediate desires. When we look at the tapestry of our intersecting lives, we see that all our experiences affect how we deal with other people. Things that happened to me thirty years ago still resonate in my life today, and so I cannot say that the losses of prior years have not been for my gain. Indeed, I can see now that truly “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
But perhaps the most wonderful thing about the Resurrection is that Jesus has gone ahead of us, His righteousness preparing our way to God. Without Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), we would have no way to get to God. We need the risen Christ go before us, to stand in front of us as our intermediary, our High Priest, our Savior and Redeemer. For our own part, we prepare the way of the Lord in our lives through repentance and faith in the gospel. For His part, Jesus covers us with His righteousness, showing God’s abundant mercy and love.
This day seems a day like any other. We will wake up, go to school or work (or work at school!), come home and spend time with friends or family. But what sets this day apart from all others is that it is present only by the mercy of God. Only through the Cross can we experience another day in which we live and breathe and work and play. Only through the resurrected Lord Jesus can we have any hope of a way to God. This day exists because God sent His Son to give us life. Without the Son, the Father may well have burned us all to a cinder and started again from scratch! But because God promised salvation from the very beginning (Genesis 22:18), because He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), because His Son was willing to drink the bitter cup of our salvation through His death on the Cross, you and I and billions of other people get one more day to live.
How will we spend that day? How will we live in the mercy we’ve been given? How will we apply the truth of salvation? How will we follow the path of righteousness He has laid before us?
Through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has made His footsteps our pathway. It is up to us now. How will we live?
Lord God in heaven, Your grace rains down upon us all, just and unjust. Father, please help me to be among the just, help me to know Your righteousness. I seek You. I seek Your kingdom. I seek the repentance that You desire, the transformation only You can bring. Lead me, Lord, in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Amen.