Thursday, May 28, 2009

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.

These verses are a prophecy fulfilled by Jesus Christ in Luke 4:18-21.

I remember when I first stumbled across the Isaiah passage. I was thrilled! I felt that was my calling... to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom, to comfort those who mourn. I didn't realize initially though that the passage was talking about Jesus being the one sent for that purpose; I just applied it to me. Then I discovered the passage in Luke and was kind of disappointed. That may sound silly, but I had found this passage that summed up my call to ministry, but then I couldn't apply it to me because it was prophetic towards Jesus' ministry.

However, the other day I read Ephesians 5:1 & 2 which urges us to "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

So for the first time, I got this realization. Isaiah 61:1-3 does in fact apply to me as well. Not in the sense that I am fulfilling the prophecy, but in the fact that I am to imitate Christ. And if I am to imitate Christ, then in theory my life will be filled with moments of binding the brokenhearted, comforting others, speaking out about God's freedom among other things! While I will never come close to doing half as good a job as Jesus will, it's encouraging to me to know that this is indeed a charge to me as well.

As you go about your days, remember Isaiah 61:1-3... Either this is a charge to you to imitate Christ, or perhaps this is a charge to discover this awesome God who will radically change your life and give you hope for the future. Either way, be encouraged!