For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20
The Messiah’s last chorus, “Worthy Is The Lamb That Was Slain”, closes with the swelling refrain of “amen”, repeated with such frequency it is akin to waves upon the seashore. I count nearly 40 amens in the bass line alone. Is this all really necessary? Why not just one good “amen”? After all, how hard is it to simply say “the end”? But perhaps “amen” means something profound, and much more than just “the end”.
That is the conclusion toward which Scripture impels us. Let’s consider four passages, beginning with Deuteronomy 27: 14 – 26. As is true of The Messiah’s final chorus, we read there a chorus of repeated amens. But note the context of those amens. The statement preceding each of the twelve amens is a curse for a particular violation of God’s law for his people. The twelve corresponding amens, shouted by the people of God from the top of the mountain, serve to underline the curses and to invite the execution of those curses upon such disobedience if it occurs. We may say with ample justification that amen here is a swear word, yes, even a God-ordained swear word. So is that the case with The Messiah—one of humankind’s most beautiful musical testimonies to the glory of our Savior ending with repeated imprecations upon ourselves?
Not at all, for it is precisely through the person and work of the Messiah that “amen” is transformed from curse to blessing. Galatians 3:13 tells us of this transformation in a most arresting way: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us . . . ” Note that it does not say that Christ took the curse from us, though that is also true. No, it says that he became the curse for us. Given the inescapable verdict of guilt upon us by virtue of our disobedience, and having with Israel uttered the amen which calls for God’s justice, we find ourselves face to face with Christ himself. This truth, which comes into focus through the cursed cross, is what the angel of the church of Laodicea had in mind when he spoke: “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.” Revelations 3:14
What will Christ be for you, the curse that destroys or the curse that is really blessing? Christ himself follows the words of his angel-messenger with these words addressed to our hearts: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelations 3:20
Please, Lord Jesus Christ, Messiah for us, come in and eat with us, Amen.