|Picture credit: becauseofgrace|
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the broken-hearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favour has come and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” Isaiah 61:1-3
Isaiah is proclaiming of the One who is to come, Jesus, and that one day He will be all that the verses above announce Him to be. We see this prophesy fulfilled in Luke 4:18. Where Jesus reads the exact scripture from the scroll and says to the people: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”. It was customary for the Jews to read from the scrolls each Sabbath in the temple and the people would take turns in reading from the scrolls. They would continue reading in the scroll at the place where the last person ended. Luke tells the story of how it was Jesus’s turn to read from the scroll in the synagogue that day.
God’s timing was perfect as Jesus had no way of orchestrating the reading of scripture so that He would end up reading that specific scripture which would reveal to the people who He truly is. This was the first time in Jesus’s life where He proclaimed to the people that He is the Messiah and the people knew exactly what He meant as they have been waiting for the Messiah to come.
As the Messiah, He has come to do the things listed in the verses above and more. He has come to take away the poverty, the broken hearts, captivity and mourning which you have received from this world. He has come to give beauty where there are ashes, joy where there is mourning and praise where there is despair. He has come to establish His people in righteousness like great oak trees, planted to proclaim His glory.
So I ask these questions today: Where in your life do you have ashes (burnt down hopes and dreams or mistakes you have made), mourning and despair? Where are you in need of freedom? Ask God today to give you hope in the places where you lost it all. Do not give up. Jesus has already made to you this promise that He will freely give to all who ask and receive. Do not hold on today to the ashes of the world, but give it to Jesus and receive beauty. Jesus has come to set the captives free.
Maybe you have lost a friend, parent or child? Maybe you have lost your job, health, honour or reputation?
“Instead of shame and dishonour, you will enjoy a double share of honour. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land and everlasting joy will be yours.” Isaiah 61:7
Do not let Satan convince you that all has been lost, stolen or beyond repair, God restores with a DOUBLE portion all that has been stolen from you and nothing is impossible for Him. Jesus says: “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24