I sat down knowing I had a deadline looming. It was early on a Saturday morning. The rest of the gang was still asleep. I turned to my reading plan and moved my finger across the date. Isaiah 61. I smiled. The chapter I’ve prayed more than any other. My story’s anthem. The breath in my lungs.
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. Isaiah 61:1 ESV
Good news. Our Savior wrapped in the flesh of a newborn baby. Our Savior hung on a cross. Our Savior conquering death with life. Good news. Good news doesn’t always look so good. Sometimes it looks rather dismal. Rather deathly. Rather cancerous. Sometimes good news looks like Good Friday, when darkness eclipses the sun and our Savior takes His last breath.
But good news changes everything.
Good news is balm for the broken-hearted. Liberty for the captives. Release for the prisoners. Good news says that no matter what the enemy tries to throw at us, victory is ours. He has clothed us with garments of salvation and covered us with robes of righteousness (vs. 10). He is building up ancient ruins, raising up former devastations. The pain of your past–He is repairing ruined cities, the devastations of many generations (vs. 4). He has made an everlasting covenant with us, and our Good God does not go back on His Word (vs. 8).
What are we to do? To toil and hustle and perform? To try harder and be better and do more? No, we are to be oaks of righteousness, to be planted deep by the Lord for His glory (vs. 3). We are to rejoice greatly, our souls exulting our God (vs.10).
These words from Isaiah 61 were the ones Jesus quoted at the beginning of his ministry. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as was His custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And He rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:16-21 ESV) Good News had come to dwell with us. Those promises from the Old Testament were being fulfilled. These words would be the anthem of His life just as it is the anthem of ours. He is the good news. We are the ones rejoicing.
When you have good news, it colors everything. It is the song in your head, the smile on your lips, the fire in your belly. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11 ESV)
**Today’s post was written by Elissa Wentworth Roberts – you’ll be so blessed to follow her at www.elissawroberts.com