Jesus’s Salvation Is a Feast (Psalm 37:5-6 [7-8])
Luke 15 repeats something fascinating. It answers a question we may not ask, but need to know the answer to. Luke 15 tells us when it’s the right time to party.
In verses 7, 10, and 32 we see when God says it is fitting to “celebrate and be glad.”
7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’ ”
God delights when sinners turn from their sins and trust in Jesus. And so should we. This rejoicing — this feast — points to something about our salvation that we’d be remiss not to grasp. It’s that our salvation is experiential, that is, it is affectual.
Jonathan Edwards makes this point by explaining the difference between rationally believing that honey is sweet and then actually tasting honey. It’s one thing to say, “Yes, honey is sweet.” It is another thing, a deeper and more glorious thing, for the honey to coat the 8,000 taste buds on our tongues.
Tim Keller details this aspect of our faith in chapter seven of The Prodigal God. He writes,
Jesus’s salvation is a feast, and therefore when we believe in and rest in his work for us, through the Holy Spirit he becomes real to our hearts. His love is like honey, or like wine. Rather than only believing that he is loving, we can come to sense the reality, the beauty, and the power of his love. His love can become more real to you than the love of anyone else. It can delight, galvanize, and console you. That will lift you up and free you form fear like nothing else. (108)