“Hound of Heaven” Meditations: 32. Roller-Coaster
Isa 52:13a “Behold, my servant shall prosper.”
Easter is a peak in the pursuit of the Hound of Heaven, a peak that establishes the foundation and reality of the rest of His pursuit that we have been considering these past four weeks. Easter is awful AND glorious. The Fourth Servant Song of Isaiah that our verse comes from has some awful descriptions within it, and yet also this amazing declaration – he “shall prosper”, he will be successful.
I find Easter is always a roller-coaster of a weekend but nevertheless it is the climactic expression or activity of ‘the Hound’, pursuing His goal of love for our lives. This ‘Song’ reveals almost more than anywhere else in Scripture the awfulness of what Jesus went through on the cross – and why. And yet here is the anomaly; at the end of chapter 53 we find, “I will give him a portion among the great,” (v.12) while at the beginning of the Song we find our starter verse, “my servant shall prosper.” It is like God is saying through Isaiah, yes, this is a terrible song and yet the end outworking is truly glorious.
The Song brings us the big picture of the terrible realities of the Cross and yet the other side of it is glory and triumph. In another reading the other day, I noted that ‘obedience trumps victory’ and yet leads to it. We don’t seek victory, we seek to be obedient, but when we get that order right, the victory follows. Jesus’ obedience that we remember at Easter – particularly seen in his submission in Gethsemane – brings a glorious victory but to achieve that victory, total obedience to God’s will is required first; indeed it is the only way to that victory.
But this weekend, with its lows and highs, brings a reality that is reflected in our own lives. So often our propensity to trip over our feet (to put it mildly) makes us feel abject failures, yet there are other times when His glory shines through us and the world is blessed by us. Humility holds failure in one hand and triumph in the other.
What Jesus achieved through these coming few days that we remember, is staggeringly wonderful as he pursued the goals of the Godhead through hell to glory, for us! For over a month now, we have been considering this amazing description by a poet, of God as ‘the Hound of Heaven’, the one who pursues us with His grace, pursuing the fleeing sinner, without hurry or haste, but with perseverance. And He does it because They decided the Plan before the foundation of the world and Jesus – on this weekend – walked this awful path to bring about your atonement and mine. THIS is why He pursues us, to get us to receive it and all that follows on from it, to enable us to be forgiven children of God. Awful, terrible, wonderful. Praise and worship him for it.