Isaiah 61 makes me happy. Here’s why: it’s the foreshadowing of salvation to the Gentiles — you and me! We will highlight some of that in a moment, but first, let’s talk about how this passage starts. What we find in these initial verses is strong messianic prophecy. Here are the opening words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” Does it sound familiar to you? It should, because it echoes the words we looked at a few weeks ago from Isaiah 48:
Draw near to me, hear this:
from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
from the time it came to be I have been there.”
And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.
(Isaiah 48:16 ESV)
This was the foretelling of Jesus’ coming, then Him leaving His Holy Spirit with us. Let me say this in no unfamiliar terms: this is bedrock Christianity. God coming to us, and His Spirit indwelling us, are two of the most vital truths of our faith. And they didn’t appear out of thin air in the middle of the New Testament. This was prophesied, and God was true to His promise. What exactly was the prophecy?
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; (Isaiah 61:1-2 ESV)
Who are the beneficiaries of this text? Well… we are. That what it goes on to say, especially in places like verse 5, where it talks about “strangers” being a part of God’s workforce and family. We have been invited in! The salvation that was once for the people of Israel is now ours as well through the person and work of Jesus Christ! Rejoice in that incredible truth!
Today, here’s what I want to encourage you to dwell on: the Maker of Heaven and Earth keeps His promises, one of which was the invitation extended to you to become one of His children. He loves you, and He shows that by His relentless pursuit of you. Let these things marinate in your mind. Let them overwhelm your heart. May the Lord bless and keep you today and this week.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor