The prophet Isaiah looks forward to a time when God fulfills all promises and brings all people into the great banquet that is fullness of life. Described as a feast of rich food and wine, this festive gathering means the end of all sorrow and death. In the present time, we still wait for this “time” – but we wait with joyful confidence that God is good.
The Revelation to John describes the day foretold by the prophet Isaiah with the image of a new and restored Jerusalem, a sign of God dwelling with us, making all things new. This new life again is seen in the end of sorrow, suffering, and death.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus performs the great sign of raising Lazarus from death. John is showing us that in Jesus the power of God to make new, to end suffering and death, is present. The words, “Unbind him, and let him go” sum up this work of God.
Comment: God’s desire for all people is that we be set free from all that binds and harms us. “Unbind him…let her go” are for us all. We look at the suffering, pain, and death in our world, and we wait for this day. I do not feel foolish in this hopeful waiting. I see in the real person of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, this very thing enacted in human history. There is no situation that our God cannot and will not redeem!