Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Anointing of the Lord

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord, to glorify Him.” (Isaiah 61:1-5 CSB)

Jesus stunned His hometown synagogue when He read the words above to them and announced that the prophecy was now fulfilled in their hearing. His announcement was that He was the Messiah. They did not take Him seriously enough to believe Him, but they did take Him seriously enough to take Him to a cliff. Their faithless response was a portent of what was to come a few years later.

Jesus came in fulfillment of the prophecy of the “Anointed One,” which is the meaning of “Messiah.” The Father sent to Son as His chosen and anointed One to bring a message of the good news of liberation and the release from despair into festivity. He came to bring freedom from the tyranny and domination of sin, and to replace that with healing. That is what His coming is all about.

Jesus has passed on His mission to us, His disciples, so that generation by generation we might continue to proclaim the year of the Lord and help people find the freedom they are desperate for. When we think about the coming of the Lord Jesus to this earth, our very next thought should be that we are part of His on-going mission to bring people – all who will believe – to salvation, so they can know what life is all about.

Lord, We thank You for sending someone to speak Your message to us, and we thank You that You now invite us to join You in Your mission. Help us to demonstrate a full faithfulness in sharing the good news with this world. Amen.

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