A cataclysmic scene unfolds at the climax of the Bible: “Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb'” (Revelation 6:15-16). But this time, there is no mercy. It is the climactic day of God’s judgment. The slain Lamb is now the devouring Lion, and there will be no place for His enemies to hide.
Between Genesis and Revelation stands the cross. It is the juncture of history, as God’s mercy and justice come together like streams meeting in a river. Crashing together at the cross, they overtake the Savior in a deluge of judgment, yet become the river of life for His people. The cross is the only point where God’s infinite love and His infinite justice intersect, and neither are diminished (Romans 5:8-9).
What should afflict our spirits is that in order for God’s just judgment to pass by sinners like you and me, it has to find Jesus. That is what it means for us to be “hidden with Christ.” At the cross, the full, unbridled wrath of God descended upon Jesus, and, in that moment of judgment, there was nowhere for Jesus to retreat — no fig leaves or shade trees. Jesus, for us, is exposed to the all-consuming expression of sin’s cruelty and the wrath of God. No friends come to defend Him; no lamb is offered in His place; no one negotiates His release. I once had the blessing of singing a contemporary version of the classic lyric, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee,” and I Corinthians 10:4 says that the “spiritual drink” and the “spiritual Rock” is Christ Himself.
For the Bible to so clearly show how holy and sacred God is, and how sinful and profane we are, and yet proclaim that we are hidden in Him with His Son, profoundly shows the power that is in the person of Christ to bridge the gulf that we never could. Draped in our shame, crowned with our thorns, and vulnerable to the judgment of God that we deserve, He endured trials and conflicts to be identified with us. Following His example, we should learn to see our trials and conflicts as means by which we are identified with Christ.
Dr. Steven Lawson said, “If you do not receive Christ as the Lamb who saves and delivers, you will face Him as the Lion who stalks and devours.” Outside of Christ, there is no safe place to hide, but being found in Christ there is protection and peace (I Peter 3:18-21). Jesus is our hiding place.
A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with your righteousness on, my person and off’ring to bring.
The terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do;
My Savior’s obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view.