Sometimes I forget that this is here.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign 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.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations.”
Isaiah 61:1-4 – NLT
This what Jesus came to do. He quoted the first 2 verses while in the synagogue in his hometown and then told his townspeople “the scriptures you just heard were fulfilled this very day”.
Are you poor in any sense of the word?
Are you mourning a loss of any kind?
Are being held captive in any way?
Are you imprisoned in any sense?
Personally I answer yes to all of these questions. Jesus has come to bring us good news and freedom. Even more, he will exchange beauty for ashes.
This part is particularly special for me. I can take this part literally. I am a burn victim. 52 years and 9 days ago I had kerosene spilled on my coat and it caught fire. I was badly burned and disfigured. But God has given me beauty for ashes. I have a beautiful wife and she has made my life sweet with beauty, giving me 4 beautiful children and they have given me 11 beautiful grandchildren.
I know that not everyone has a story like mine with something literally burned to ashes but we all have experienced loss, where something we have put our hopes in gets utterly destroyed. God says he can takes the wreckage and ashes of our hopes and give us back a future and hope that are more beautiful than we could have imagined. I am the poster child for his restorative plan and power. ❤️