“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 head-dress 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.”
Even though our world is very different from the world of the exiled Jews, this passage speaks into the deep recesses of our disillusioned hearts.
We can resonate with the sense that we too are impoverished, brokenhearted, alienated and trapped by prisons of our own making. Prisons of lust, fear and greed.
We tend to search for something or someone who can rescue us from the predicaments in which we find ourselves. We often find that we cannot control life with our intelligence, money or even our willpower.
When it came time for Jesus to begin His Public Ministry…of all the Old Testament passages that He could have chosen…Jesus read from this Isaiah passage and concluded with the audacious declaration, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).
As we consider the things that lead us to feel alone and powerless, let us remember that the hope of transformation presented in Isaiah has already been accomplished…and it is ours to tap into. Jesus is the long-awaited fulfillment of the yearnings of our hearts.
Heavenly Father, You have accomplished through Christ what I could never do with my own abilities. Yet, in the course of my day-to-day life I turn back to myself, instinctively putting my hope for change in almost everything but You. Help me to see more of the fullness of what Christ has accomplished so that I might place my hope in Him and experience the greater healing, freedom and comfort that He graciously gives. In Christ’s Name, Amen.