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Isaiah 1:9

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Isaiah 1:9, ‘If YHWH of Hosts had not left to us a survivor (or, in the Greek OT, ‘seed’), we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah.’

Ultimately, the judgment humanity has to face is not an attack of Assyrians or an exile to Babylon (the judgments Israel faced when Isaiah wrote the words above), but the holy wrath of the Almighty God, the consuming Fire of which the fires of Sodom and Gomorrah (and the flames that eventually devoured Jerusalem) were only dimly flickering anticipations. How is it that *any* can be preserved through this fully outpoured judgment of God against human sin? How can there be *any* “survivor”?

Ultimately, the answer is found in Jesus Christ. He alone—out of the entire human family—is THE Survivor, THE Remnant, THE Seed. He alone, on the cross, passes into the Inferno of Judgment, descends to the Grave of True Exile, walks through the Sea of our Affliction, enters the Death from which none can return….And then, from that place, He is raised up again. Raised as the sole Survivor, raised as the true Remnant, raised as the bursting, blooming, fruit-bearing Seed. Yes, ultimately, the remnant whom God preserves is the Risen Jesus Christ, and Him alone. Any and all who will be preserved are preserved only by union to *this one.*

In this image, then, Jesus’ right hand is plunged into the grave of His people’s exile and curse since He is the Remnant in whom they can be saved only because He has endured the Judgment under which they are condemned. Above the grave, Christ is pictured surrounded in the radiance of His resurrection as the Only True Remnant of humanity, raised up to indestructible life beyond all judgment. Beneath the earth, the people of God are pictured as a seed preserved in the wound of the Prince’s Hand, sprouting and rising up from the grave as a remnant only as they entwine into and around the One who is Himself the Fruitful Seed and Risen Remnant. Finally, see that Christ is crowned with the golden harvest of the grave, the reward of His sufferings, the fruitful victor’s wreath who is His ransomed, remnant Bride.