“Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD,
nor be dismayed, O Israel;
for behold, I will save you from far away,
and your offspring from the land of their captivity…
For I am with you to save you, declares the LORD…
Your hurt is incurable, and your wound is grievous.
There is none to uphold your cause,
no medicine for your wound, no healing for you.
All your lovers have forgotten you;
they care nothing for you…
Because your guilt is great, and your sins are flagrant,
I have done these things to you.
Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured,
and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity…
For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD,
because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’…
And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.’”
Jeremiah 30:10-17, 22
Oh, the power of our God to heal. And the love of our God to do so, even in light of deep rebellion.
I love the contrast these verses display: a desperate situation giving way to the light of hope. That in spite of flagrant sin and great guilt, the Lord declares, “I am with you to save you.” To heal the incurable pain, the grievous wounds caused by sin and life in a broken world.
Is this not ultimately demonstrated in the cross? The hope in these verses is not only for the Israelites who had been driven into captivity; it is for each one of us. Because while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ – the Son of God, the radiance of the God’s glory and exact imprint of His nature, the One by whom and through whom and for whom all things were created – He agonized and suffered and bled and died for us. Immanuel, God With Us, to save. Taking our sin in all its wicked, rebellious darkness. The grievous wounds, the incurable pain. The emptiness that lovers and constant striving could not fill.
Jesus took it all.
So we could know healing.
Life, abundant and beautiful and without fear.
So we could be whole. Our emptiness filled by the only One great enough to fill us to overflowing. God set eternity in our hearts, and only the eternal God can satisfy that longing. It’s what we were created for – to know Him and be known.
A few verses after this passage, God assures His people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jeremiah 31:3b). It is everlasting love that is demonstrated here. Seen in the steadfastness of a God who would not leave His people abandoned, who would not leave them cast out or ashamed or lost in their sin and its consequences. They were His people, and He was their God, and the world would see His faithfulness.
And it is everlasting love that is seen in the cross. It is what drove Jesus to that moment. It is why He came, and why He set His face toward Jerusalem, determined to complete the work that would draw all people to Himself and display the glory of God’s grace and power to save us. It is what compelled God to write our salvation story before the world even began.
Wherever you are today, there is One who cares for you. One who went to all lengths to save you. One who loves you with an everlasting love, and who will continue His faithfulness to you each moment for all eternity, if you are His. And there are no requirements, save one: to believe in the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection to save, and surrender your life to His leading. He will take your iniquities away from you, breathe new life into your soul, mend your broken pieces, and wash you white as snow.
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels…
The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called, My Delight Is In Her,
and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land shall be married…
And they shall be called The Holy People,
The Redeemed of the LORD;
and you shall be called Sought Out,
A City Not Forsaken.”
Isaiah 61:10; 62:2-4, 12