One Sabbath day, in a synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus steps up to preach to the people. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet is handed to Him. He peruses the scroll and finds these verses to read…

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19 (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Rolling up the scroll, He sits back down. All eyes in the crowd are upon Him…

“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” – Luke 4:21

Jesus declares to all that He is the long-awaited Messiah… the One to whom all prophecy points.

Isaiah, God’s chosen prophet, wrote this prophecy of the coming Christ hundreds of years earlier to the people of Judah. Yet his prophetic words telescope into the future, as prophecies do, to the coming of the Great Redeemer, Jesus Christ. By divine revelation, Isaiah prophesies about the mission of Jesus, the scope of His ministry and His future eternal reign.

“The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”  Matthew 11:5

Here Jesus describes His earthly ministry. Anointed by the Father, and in the Spirit of the Lord, He ministers to all. He preaches the gospel, offering hope to all who suffer. He heals every sickness… binds every wound… delivers all who are oppressed by evil spirits.

Yet this is just the beginning of His eternal ministry. For Jesus is the Blessed One, the chosen Son of God. The Holy One, the sinless Lamb of God. The Righteous One, the ransom for our sins. He reigns forever in all glory, power and majesty.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim 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.” – Isaiah 61:1

As we look more closely at Isaiah’s prophecy, we see Jesus as its complete fulfillment. He is the Good News… the One who gives hope to our lives. He heals the brokenhearted with endless compassion. He frees us from our captivity to sin. He leads us from darkness into His light and His love. And He restores us with His forgiveness.

Isaiah’s prophecy continues…

“To comfort all who mourn…  to give them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair.” – Isaiah 61:2-3

Jesus is the Giver of abiding comfort and endless joy. He comforts all who mourn. He offers eternal consolation for our grief over sin. His Spirit within us is our everlasting Comforter.

Before we came to believe, we lived engulfed in our sins. When we came to repentance and belief, our Savior came into our lives, washing away our past and placing upon us His crown of glory… His beauty for our ashes of repentance. As He shines His love upon us, we come to reflect His glorious radiance.

Jesus anoints us with His oil of joy… true joy as only He can give. Deep gratitude replaces our grief, shame and guilt over sin. Jesus raises us from despair and lifts our crushed, downtrodden spirits of heaviness. He clothes us with gladness and praise. Our spirits rejoice.

Isaiah’s prophecy continues…

“So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” – Isaiah 61:3

As believers, we are the prophesied oaks of righteousness. Our Redeemer has made us righteous. Through the power of Christ, we are His strong and mighty ones (Ephesians 6:10) … the ones chosen by Him and planted on earth to glorify Him.

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of His righteousness.”  Isaiah 61:10

We praise our Lord for who He is and all He has done for us. He alone is perfect in righteousness. Our Savior replaces our unclean garments of sin with His robes of righteousness white as snow.

Jesus is the prophesied Messiah who transforms our lives through His redemption. Our ashes of grief, sin and despair are washed away by His perfect sacrifice. We are new creations, gloriously arrayed in His beauty, His joy and His praise.