Friday, December 13, 2019

Prophecy 10: Isaiah 61:1-2

Daily Thoughts – December 14th

Prophecy 10: Isaiah 61:1-2
"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;... "           - Isaiah 61:1-2(a)
This is an extremely powerful statement and prophecy to be fulfilled. I'm sure you have introduced yourself to someone in your life. Your introduction of yourself typically includes your name, perhaps where you work, what you do and references to relationships that might help the receiver to understand who you are. Perhaps something like this,

"Hi, my name is Rich Palmer. I work at Advanced Micro Devices in the Global Partners group on building strategic partnerships for business growth. You know my dad - Jim Palmer, from Tecumseh; he speaks highly of you."

In this prophecy, Isaiah is speaking on behalf of the Messiah, foretelling of who he will be, and what he will do in a manner that the audience clearly understood what was to come. The careful use of words gives us many points to think about.  1) "...the Lord has anointed me..." - Messiah means "Anointed One", so by making this statement Isaiah makes it clear that he is speaking on behalf of the Messiah in a prophetic manner.  2) "...preach good news to the poor." - Priests and Rabbis were anointed to represent the service to the Lord, claiming to preach classifies the Messiah in the same category as these teachers.  The difference, though, is that the good news is not just for the upper echelon but for the poor as well. The implication is that the current priests were not reaching those that needed it the most. 3) "...bind up the brokenhearted...release from darkness..." - the Messiah will come to heal the sins of the people once and for all. 4) "and the day of vengeance of our God;" - God's revenge for sin of all time will come at the second coming of the Messiah, so we have to be aware that this prophecy is actually split across multiple events in time.

Now, forward your calendar 700 years to Luke 4:16-21. Imagine the impact of standing in front of an audience of highly Priests, Rabbis, and influential leaders of law and religion and introducing yourself by reading this scripture from the ancient scrolls.  This is exactly what Jesus Christ did the very first time he was asked to preach in the synagogue.  At the conclusion of his reading of the word, he carefully rolls the scroll back into place and makes the most profound statement, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing", and thereby proclaiming that He had come to fulfill this prophecy.

Can you imagine the shock on the faces and the shouts of anger from those in attendance? I'm sure there were cries of "blasphemy, stone him"; "wait, isn't this Joseph the carpenter's son". They were blinded by their own knowledge at that time. Blinded to the point that they couldn't accept the claim made in their very presence. Put yourself in their shoes, could you have accepted it? Would you accept it if a man stood in the front of your church or synagogue this weekend and claimed the same? 

We are told that His return will be swift like a thief in the night and that His sheep will know Him. An introduction will not be necessary when He comes again.

- Rich

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