Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land and everlasting joy will be theirs.
– Isaiah 61:1-9
Here Isaiah opens with a new declaration of the Servant of the Lord. The Anointed Messenger declares His appointment and describes His program. All the deliverance described in this chapter is the result of the message He delivers. Therefore the description of the glorious restoration has reference to what still lies in the future. In that future, the people of God will be His priests, His ministers. They will exert an influence for righteousness among the nations. Jesus began his earthy ministry by quoting the first half of verse one in the synagogue. This was a deliberate action. He then declares, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:20-21) Isaiah’s prophecy up to that point was fulfilled by Christ’s first coming. Isaiah had not made the distinction between the first and second comings of Christ, but Jesus did. Jesus’ first coming was to secure the salvation of mankind by atoning for sin. His mission was simple: “To seek and save that which was lost.” Today we live in light of Jesus’s first coming. This is why we proclaim the Good News! But we also look forward to His second coming when He will return to make all things new. He will eventually restore everything to its original state.
The Big Question
Isaiah clearly points to a future time when God’s Anointed Servant would enter into human history to redeem God’s fallen creation. We recognize this Anointed Servant as the Jesus we find in the New Testament. Each one of us must eventually answer the question: Who was this Jesus? More importantly: Who is this Jesus to you?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence reflecting on what God revealed to you today.