Go and Tell Everyone! Easter Reflections on Isaiah 52:13-53:12

The instruments of death, the shroud, and the winding sheet of the dead are destroyed and then death itself will be swallowed by YHWH, its fear thus removed for all time and for all people. In the power of YHWH, death can now have no authority. As the apostle Paul later said, "O death, where is your sting; O grave, where is your victory; death has been swallowed up in victory," seemingly quoting or paraphrasing Isaiah 25:7-8.

This hardly appears to mean that death is no more; we will die. That is part of what it means to be human. But death itself, its power and fearfulness, has been swallowed by God. I need not now fear death, because I now know that God has and will swallow it up. And because that is true, "YHWH God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disapproval of God's people YHWH will remove from the whole earth. Surely YHWH has spoken" (Is. 25:8).

And it will be said on that day (on Easter Day!), "Look! This is our God for whom we have waited to save us. This is YHWH for whom we have waited. Let us rejoice and be glad in God's salvation! The hand of YHWH will rest on this mountain" (Is. 25:9-10).

Easter has revealed the God for whom we have waited, the God who has swallowed the fear of death and has offered to the whole world the divine feast. And now, as Mark said so memorably, "Go and tell everyone" that God's hand now rests on the world that God has loved and redeemed. Happy Easter!

12/2/2022 9:10:33 PM
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  • John Holbert
    About John Holbert
    John C. Holbert is the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor Emeritus of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX.