Imagine the joy of realizing that the whole plan of God is to develop an intimate relationship with His people! We tend to think that His story is some sort of cosmic battle between good and evil or something like that. Not being a “big picture” person, I know I did. However, those who can look at the entire scheme of things are better able to distil the work of God into basics: creation, redemption, intimacy.
In the NT, before Jesus departed for heaven He comforted His disciples. He said that He would come again and take them to Himself. Whatever they expected when they got there, it was not an aloof Savior.
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)
I can easily imagine Jesus greeting those men with a big hug of welcome. They had been his friends in this world, sharing in sorrows and troubles and now welcomed to rest and to share glory with Him. He will lead them through His eternal dwelling place and show them His glory. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory” (John 17:24).
He will lead them to living fountains of waters, to His banqueting house where they will “have the full measure of joy within them” (John 17:13), eating and drinking with Him, according to his promise (Luke 22:30). They will enjoy that new wine He promised (Matthew 26:29) and His banner over them is love.
Their conversation will be as intimate and their access as free as on earth, but more so because in heaven their union will be perfect. It will be the same for all of His people, imperfect here, yet there the sin and darkness that at times blurred our relationship will all be removed. Nothing will stand between us and our Savior.
I cannot imagine seeing the full glory of Jesus Christ, but I do understand that my heart will be filled with awe and worship. I can foresee a surprise, even a joy that I’ve never known before. This One, God the Son, will draw me into open and intimate closeness, freely and fully communicating Himself to me, granting the fullest enjoyment possible, satisfying the utmost cravings of my soul.
Today’s reading suggests that He will then say, “Eat, O friend, and drink; drink your fill, O lover” (from Song of Solomon) for there will be nothing to hinder or interrupt my enjoyment nor will there be any end of this happiness. Here it is a taste; there it is a glorious banquet.