Today’s verses are one of my favorite passages in Isaiah. Every time I read them, I get goosebumps as I hear Jesus speaking these very words in a synagogue in Nazareth hundreds of years after they were first proclaimed:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” Isaiah 61:1-3
My God, I will never get tired of hearing these words, for they are truth! You have brought good news to us, those poor in spirit. Jesus, You are the One whom God set apart, anointed, from before the beginning of time. I praise You that are both the bringer of good news and the actual good news itself. Your humility amazes me, and I’m in tears because of your ceaseless tenderness toward me. You have comforted me when I’m brokenhearted; you have released me from my captivity and keep freeing me when I let myself become imprisoned in sin. Your favor is what brings me out of mourning. My hope is in You; your promise of redemption is a crown of beauty rising from the ashes in my life, a joyous blessing, and I will always respond in festive praise. My I grow in righteousness, watered by Your Spirit as we walk together, into a great oak, planted as a monument to Your glory.