Isaiah 61:1 ESV
“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.”
This prophecy is about Jesus Christ, for he quoted it about himself, as is recorded for us in Luke 4:17-21. When he had finished mostly quoting Isaiah 61:1-2 he then said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” For he was letting the people know that he was the Messiah who was to come. He was the fulfillment of this prophecy of Isaiah.
So, what is the “good news” that Jesus brought? It was that we must repent of our sins (turn away from them), that we must die to sin daily, and that we must follow Jesus in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives, and we will have salvation from sin and eternal life with God. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and he died to deliver us from slavery to sin so we’d be slaves of God.
And who are the poor? They are not just the physically poor, but they are the poor in spirit, the humble, and the contrite. They are those who are receptive to the teachings of Jesus and who are receptive to his call to deny self and to die daily to sin and to follow him in obedience. But Jesus took his gospel to everyone who would listen, yet not all who heard him received what he had to say. Many rejected him and walked away. They still do.
And who are the brokenhearted? They are the repentant. They are those who, in the presence of Almighty God, are broken in heart and mind over their sins. They are those who grieve over their sins and who desire to have their sin wounds and their emotional wounds healed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They are not the proud and haughty who think they don’t need to repent or to turn from their sins or to obey the Lord Jesus.
And who are the captives? Who are those bound in prisons? They are those who are enslaved to sin, and before we meet Jesus, we are all enslaved to sin. So, that is why God the Father sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to the earth to die on a cross for our sins so that we would believe on him and be delivered from our enslavement to sin so we would no longer live under the control of sin but so we would now be slaves of God’s righteousness.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]
Isaiah 61:2 ESV
“To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God.”
In Jesus’ ministry on this earth he did both of these. He first proclaimed the grace of God to all who would listen and who would obey. But his grace isn’t like what is largely being taught today. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Titus 2:11-14; cf. Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
And he also proclaimed the day of vengeance of our God, warning us that if we do not humble ourselves and submit to him and forsake our sins and obey him that we will not inherit eternal life with God but we will be cast out into utter darkness. And his New Testament apostles taught us the same thing. We can’t just pray a prayer to receive Christ and then live however we want and one day we get to go to heaven. It doesn’t work that way.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]
Isaiah 61:2-3 ESV
“To comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress 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.”
Those who mourn are those who grieve over their sins. And they are those who repent of their sins, who die with Christ to sin. So, if we think we have come to faith in Jesus Christ but we have not grieved or wept over our sins but all we did is accept some message that said if we wanted our sins forgiven and heaven guaranteed us when we die that we should pray some prayer, most likely we did not truly receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, and we don’t have salvation from sin, and we are not promised heaven as our eternal destiny.
For Jesus turns our darkness into light, and he gives us a new song in our hearts, and he cleanses our hearts from sin, and he gives us new lives in him created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And he does this first by having us die with him to sin, by God’s Spirit, so we can be raised with him to walk in newness of life in him in submission to him, no longer living in sin according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit.
For Jesus died on that cross so that by faith in him we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now honor him with our bodies and so we would no longer give our bodies over as instruments of unrighteousness. For he died to free us from our addiction to sin so we would now walk with him in holiness and righteousness.
I Will Wait for You (Psalm 130)
By Jordan Kauflin, Keith Getty, Matt Merker, & Stuart Townend
Out of the depths I cry to You
In darkest places I will call
Incline Your ear to me anew
And hear my cry for mercy, Lord
Were You to count my sinful ways
How could I come before Your throne
Yet full forgiveness meets my gaze
I stand redeemed by grace alone
I will wait for You
I will wait for You
On Your word, I will rely
I will wait for You
Surely wait for You
Till my soul is satisfied
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