The City of Zion: Rest for Weary Christians
“Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let. Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad” (Psalm 53:6)
You don’t have to read very far into the Old Testament prophets and the writings (specifically Psalms) to get the idea that the city of Zion has a very specific and elevated role in God’s plan of redemption in the gathering together of his people. Zion is where God’s glory dwells and where the ransomed people of God will gather and live eternally (see Isaiah 4:5-6).
As much as Zion describes a city, it is also a figurative image of what is to come for us (the people of God) who are on a pilgrimage to our eternal destination and resting place. All of history points forward to a time where the weary Christian will, at last, find rest.
Zion: Christ the Cornerstone
“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’” (Isaiah 28:16)
The Old Testament has much to say about the stone (a tested stone, a precious stone) that was going to bring a “sure foundation” to the people of God. As Christians, we know the New Testament speaks to the fulfillment of this imagery in Christ.
Peter understands this imagery very well when he tells the Sanhedrin in Acts chapter 4, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12).
Isaiah understands this stone to be laid in “Zion” which is described as the city of God. Christ is at the center of this city which beautifully foreshadows Christ in his glory in Revelation 5:12-13.
Christ, the Lamb, is the cornerstone and the center of Zion. He is the focus of all worship and praise.
Zion: A Glorious Forever-Future
“But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to tens of thousands of angels, to the festal gathering and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant…” (Hebrews 12:22-24)
This future hope of the city of Zion can (and ought) to bring comfort and peace to our world-weary souls that are weighed down by the cares of this sin-cursed realm. Our future is bright, our hope eternally secure, and our Savior glorious.
We are the inheritance of Christ – we have been adopted into his family and are called “the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven.” We are called “righteous.” We will never be disinherited. We are too precious in the eyes of Christ.
Matthew Henry says of this passage in Hebrews, “Indeed all the children of God are heirs, and everyone has the privileges of the first-born. The names of these are written in heaven, in the records of the church here: they have a name in God’s house, and are written among the living in Jerusalem.”
Our future is secure and eternal. It will not fade or vanish or cease to be at one point or another. Sin will not ruin this new heavens and new earth, the city of Zion where Christ reigns as King. We are preserved forever because we are the inheritance of Christ. No sin will harm us, and we will live forever in Zion where God dwells.
“And I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people’” (Isaiah 51:16).
Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas and is a writer and content manager for So We Speak.