Thoughts on Isaiah 61

Isaiah 61:1-3
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach 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, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness 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."

In effect, what He is describing is the human condition and the need of every man- which is to be fulfilled by Jesus. Every man is in someway poor. We all experience brokeness of heart, we all at one point in our lives are captive to something; every human being without Jesus is a prisoner to sin and the flesh and living in darkness. We all grieve, mourn, have shame and guilt that needs to be erased and healed. Man is desperate for an answer to their problems, and the answer is Jesus- He is the only answer, the only way. This passage is about healing- mentally, emotionally, and well as spiritually and physically. When we come into contact with Jesus a great exchange takes place in the Spirit realm. He gives us everything He has and is- and we are supposed to give Him not only everything we are, but even what we are not. He takes our weakness and gives us strength. We give Him our sin, and He gives us His righteousness. He is willing to give us beauty for ashes, but we must be willing to give up our ashes. We cannot live in the past and press into the future at the same time. Isaiah 61 is a prophesy that was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and was later fulfilled in Jesus. In Luke 4:21, it says, "Today this scripture is fulfulled in your hearing." To fulfill is to make something complete, finished, done with. All of these things were completed and fulfilled by Jesus. No longer is there any reason for us to live in fear, captivity, anxiety or shame- the work of Jesus is done, forever and always. We can live in the fulness of God's love and heart. To live in His favor means that He will bless you even though you do not deserve it, if you put your faith in Him. God wants us to enjoy life and live in His abundance. With His favor, we will walk in right standing before God and men. His people will be symbols "oaks" of strength and righteousness. Standing firm, and planted by God to display His glory.