Welcome to the twenty first stage on our journey from Good Friday to Easter Sunday: In the story of God’s salvation, we see love, eternal love, the love of God.
14 Sing and shout for joy, people of Israel!
Rejoice with all your heart, Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has stopped your punishment;
he has removed all your enemies.
The Lord, the king of Israel, is with you;
there is no reason now to be afraid.
16 The time is coming when they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not be afraid, city of Zion!
Do not let your hands hang limp!
17 The Lord your God is with you;
his power gives you victory.
The Lord will take delight in you,
and in his love he will give you new life.
He will sing and be joyful over you,
18 as joyful as people at a festival.”
The Lord says,
“I have ended the threat of doom
and taken away your disgrace.
19 The time is coming!
I will punish your oppressors;
I will rescue all the lame
and bring the exiles home.
I will turn their shame to honor,
and all the world will praise them.
20 The time is coming!
I will bring your scattered people home;
I will make you famous throughout the world
and make you prosperous once again.”
The Lord has spoken.
Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society
In Zephaniah 3, we have a story of sin – Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled! She has not obeyed His voice. She has not accepted correction. She has not trusted in the Lord. She has not drawn near to her God’ – and a story of salvation – ‘Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment. He has turned back your enemy… The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will renew you in His love. He will rejoice over you with singing’ (Zephaniah 3:1-2, 14-17). The story of our sin is full of sadness. The story of God’s salvation fills us with gladness – ‘Rejoice and be glad! The Redeemer has come’ (Mission Praise, 573).
Watch out for the next stage on our journey from Good Friday to Easter Sunday: Let us worship God – our response to love, eternal love, the love of God.