I’ve got some good news.
I opened my bible this morning intending to continue reading in Psalms but opened to Isaiah 61. Isaiah 61 is the Gospel ministry spelled out in the Old Testament.
“61 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,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.”
This is good news.
I am spiritually poor. My debt has been paid in Jesus.
I am broken-hearted. For my own situation and for the people of my world. There is help and healing and comfort in Jesus.
I am captive to sin. And sometimes held chained in darkness. Jesus can set me free. Jesus brings light into my world. Light shows me my depravity and also shows me the way out.
I’m not sure what the year of the Lords favor is. I think it might be the year of jubilee. That is where all debt is wiped clean. Anything mortgaged or pawned is returned. I would love a day of that. Can you imagine a year of that? No debt unpaid. Everyone reset to zero. Financially it would be incredible, spiritually it is life changing.
I mourn the loss of family. I mourn the loss of innocence and purity. I mourn for those lost and and alone. I mourn for those enslaved by addiction of any kind. I mourn the victims of abuse, the breakup of homes and families. I mourn. Jesus brings comfort to me.
Beauty for ashes. This part is special to me. I am ashes. I was burned as a child, my dad said my nose was a black cinder. He feared it would be gone. When my bandages came off my nose was there. All of it. I feared that I would never find a woman to love me but then one day while I was still a youth I met Mary and she has been the beauty that I traded my ashes for. Jesus provided love through my loss.
I have a family history. It’s not all good. There is abuse and alcoholism and pornography and fights and divorce and pain and base humanness. Jesus has come to restore brokenness that is generational. Walls broken down for decades, for centuries can be restored. Family sins, family patterns of abuse and pain can end now in Jesus.
“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,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.”
Jesus has come to bring good news. That’s what the word gospel means, good news. We are forgiven and free in the covering Jesus provides us.
God loves us and longs for a relationship with us. The one who built everything we see and know, who created us , has also redeemed us. He has bought us out of slavery. That’s good news.
(Originally posted 11/01/16)