“Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.” (Psalm 85:10-11 ESV)
Due to pandemic restrictions, many people in business offices and extended families began using Zoom meetings or similar online connections as a safer alternative to in-person gatherings. The psalmist describes a very different meeting, with no internet connection required! Unlike some business and family meetings, there are no arguments here. There is only perfect agreement, so much so that we might think we are hearing a love story. After all, “steadfast love and faithfulness” are appropriate topics for a wedding sermon.
This is a story of love, as steadfast love and faithfulness come together. Righteousness and peace kiss. Faithfulness and righteousness meet suspended between earth and heaven, but the setting of this meeting is not a wedding. This meeting took place at a grim, forbidding site outside of ancient Jerusalem, at an execution site called Golgotha. It was a location that did not suggest love or faithfulness, unless it was the faithfulness of Roman soldiers to their unwelcome duty. It was not a place of peace, but of suffering. But the meeting happened there, on a cross.
At the cross of Jesus, God’s steadfast love—His binding, covenant love—and His faithfulness came together. The Son of God was nailed to the cross and lifted up to hang suspended between earth and sky. He died to pay the debt of sin that we owed. He endured the penalty of death that we deserved for our unfaithfulness, for our unrighteous decisions of thought, word, and deed. The Son’s faithfulness, His obedience to His Father “to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8b ESV) springs up from the ground to be met by the righteousness that “looks down from the sky.” It is the righteousness of Christ Himself, who by His death made “many to be accounted righteous” (Isaiah 53:11b ESV). It is righteousness that is bestowed on us through faith, as a gift of God’s grace.
At the cross, “righteousness and peace kiss each other.” We are clothed in the righteousness of our Lord and “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). This is a love story—the story of God’s love for the world and the people He created. His steadfast love and faithfulness have come together in His Son, a gift to the world, so that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16b ESV). Jesus, the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice for sin, has washed us clean in His precious blood. And there is a wedding in this story after all. Jesus Christ our Bridegroom has claimed us—His redeemed people, His church—as His bride. The invitations continue to be sent out: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9b ESV). No internet connection is needed!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, our Bridegroom, help us by Your Spirit to live so that others see Your love and peace through us. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. Why is marriage a good way to illustrate our relationship to God as His saved people?
2. How is it that we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ?
3. Have you extended an invitation to anyone lately to attend the “marriage supper of the Lamb”? What’s one way you can do that?