Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
— Song of Solomon 8:6-7
The Resurrection of Christ seals us as the beloved of his heart. When the risen Christ gave the seal of his Spirit to the disciples in the locked room, he sealed us for himself. The Spirit is not simply the seal of our inheritance, he is not simply a guarantee of a nice place to live in Heaven and some nice stuff to put in our mansions on the river Jordan. Christ does not simply seal us for Heaven: he answers the prayer of the beloved, and seals the Church to be his, his bride. Christ does not give us the Spirit begrudgingly or indifferently, as though it were for our benefit alone, he gives it for the sake of his own joy, to fulfil the longing of His own heart to live with His people. The Pentecostal fire is the fire of the love of God, the flashing flames of the Lord.
In his resurrection from the dead, Christ proves his love to be stronger than death, and shows the jealousy of Yahweh to be fiercer than the grave. When Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, the Jews wondered at his love, for death is the enemy of love, the last enemy to be destroyed. The fierce jealousy of God refuses to share his people with the grave, and those of us uncomfortable with the idea of a jealous God ought to remember what he considers to be the rival of his affections.
On Easter morning, the Son of Solomon, so recently drowned by hateful humanity in the baptism of His death and submerged in the floodwaters of judgment, emerges from the tomb with His love neither quenched nor suffocated. Rather, as the waters subside, Christ, like Noah, is fruitful and multiplies, that earth may be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
To this day, the Spirit and the Bride still pray with Solomon’s beloved:
Make haste, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
on the mountains of spices. (Song 8:14)
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!