Lam. 3:21-23, ‘this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of YHWH never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’
The steadfast love of YHWH *never ceases*. At least one implication of that statement is that in the midst of all the horrors and sufferings that God’s people experience, recounted in the first 3 chapters of Lamentations—even in the midst of all this pain—His steadfast love has not ceased. And if His steadfast love has not ceased, then it must still be there, blazing like a molten, life giving planetary core beneath the cold and barren providence of the exile. And if His steadfast love for His people remains beneath all the suffering of His people, then even that suffering—somehow—must be part of His steadfast love for them.
This only makes sense in Jesus. Jesus IS the ‘people of God,’ He is the embodiment of all those—Jew and Gentile, Old Covenant and New Covenant—who will every trust in YHWH. And, as such, His suffering, His curse-bearing, His condemned death IS their suffering, curse, and death. The sufferings of the exile recounted in Lam.1-3—and all the other sufferings of God’s people—are finally embodied and definitively experienced in the flesh of THE ‘People of God’—Jesus Christ—in His death on the cross.
But Jesus bears these sufferings substitionally, IN and AS the Steadfast Love of God. In this way, these very same sufferings—borne redemptively in the flesh of the Lord—are turned into witnesses of the steadfast love of the Lord…that is to say, the NAME of the Lord.
The steadfast love of YHWH never ceases, even in the midst of His people’s suffering, because—in the crucified Christ—all of His people’s suffering is borne by, overcome through, and so made a context of and witness to His steadfast love. And all of this is true only because the crucified Christ IS RISEN. When the crucified Jesus rises with the sun on resurrection morning, bearing in His flesh the marks of His people’s suffering, now transfigured to eternal witnesses of steadfast love—He becomes the embodied fulfillment and assurance of Lam. 3:21-23 for all who hope in Him.