Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion — to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
This beautiful passage from Isaiah describes the ministry of the Messiah, the promised King that God would send to make this sin-damaged world right again. We have seen how this King is also viewed by Isaiah as the great Servant, who would serve the broken by dying for them to redeem them. The Servant is our substitute who while innocent, took upon Himself the judgment of God for the transgressions that we committed. By taking our sin and its consequence on Himself, we can be reconciled to God, actually becoming part of His family.
This passage shows us what it looks like to be broken, but then redeemed. Our wounded hearts are mended and it is our slavery to sin that is now broken. When the Messiah comes, He will usher in a Year of Jubilee” (the year of the Lord’s favor”), which is a time for slaves to be set free, for debts to be cancelled, and for God’s people and God’s world to experience the Sabbath rest that is so desperately needed. The freedom of Jubilee results in divine comfort and gladness instead of the mourning and sadness we experience in this world.
At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus read from this prophetic passage of hope and said these words, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). Friend, Jesus is the One you have been waiting for. He is the King who will set you free from your sin and invite you to be part of the royal family. He is the Servant who will bring His peace (shalom) to your heal your brokenness and who will fill your anxious life with His rest. He is the Messiah who will bless your life with comfort and gladness. He is truly worthy of your praise and worship. He is worthy of your life. Turn to Him today.