“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 will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of a spirit of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory” (Isaiah 61:1, 3, NLT).
When Jesus sat down in the synagogue of Nazareth and was handed the scroll to read, He unrolled it to this very passage, Isaiah 61, and read verse 1 and part of verse 2. Then He made the astounding pronouncement: “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:21, NLT). Jesus was making the point that He was the one to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy of restoration.
The prophecy at the end of the book of Isaiah focuses on the full restoration of God’s people that is still to be fulfilled in the future; yet Jesus says in no uncertain terms that “today” at least that portion of the prophecy was fulfilled. He is the anointed one with the Spirit who:
- brings good news
- comforts the brokenhearted
- proclaims release to captives
- frees prisoners
- bestows a crown of beauty instead of ashes
- gives joyous blessing instead of mourning
- offers festive praise instead of a spirit of despair.
You need good news? Go to Jesus.
You need comfort for your broken heart? Go to Jesus.
You need release from captivating sin or addiction? Go to Jesus.
You need freedom from the prison of Satan’s darkness? Go to Jesus.
You want to trade in the ashes of wasted time or a burnt-out life for a crown of beauty? Go to Jesus.
You want to finally offer praise instead of the sorrow and mourning that has dogged your days? Go to Jesus.
You want to get out from under the weight of despair over pain or hurt or hopelessness and sing out with festive praise? Go to Jesus.
You want to trade shame and disgrace for everlasting joy? Go to Jesus.
No one else can make such offers—and no one else can deliver. Only Jesus can say it. Only Jesus can do it.
Prayer: Only You, Jesus, only You can release this captive from the strongholds that weigh me down. Only You can set me free. Lord Jesus, I claim these promises TODAY. I come to You for release, for freedom, for comfort. And I will give you all the praise and glory! Amen.