He Understands

Isaiah 61 (HCSB)

61 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.

I love this scripture! To me, it is one of the most beautiful scriptures ever written! It captivates me like no other!  The prophet Isaiah wrote this most scholars believe approximately 700 years prior to the birth of Christ and yet it outlines who Christ was and what His work here on earth would look like.  It clearly describes One upon whom God’s presence or Spirit would rest and explains that Jesus was anointed for the work He was sent to do. It was common practice for kings and priests to be anointed for service and in at least one instance a prophet was anointed to service. Jesus serves in all three capacities. He came to proclaim, preach and teach all that the Father directed Him fulfilling prophet and priest roles.  In His obedience in life, His obedience in death and His resurrection from the dead, He brought the Kingdom of Heaven here and made it available to all who believe.  In this victory He became King of kings, fulfilling the role of king.

As if that were not enough, the following verses beautifully describe the life Jesus lived. These verses echo in the words of the Beatitudes and in the gospel also as Jesus lived out His life as He healed, delivered and set people free. The echo in His obedience to the Father to carry out God’s plan and in the days following His resurrection. What a picture this paints! When it says Jesus came to bring good news to the poor, it is not necessarily speaking of those suffering in  financial poverty;  the original word means afflicted, humble, weak, needy, oppressed.  Please do not get me wrong here, Jesus came for all people to restore right relationship between a Holy God and His creation but many times when things are going well in our individual worlds, we forget our need for this relationship. It is in the tough times, when wave after wave of troubles or turmoil enter our lives that we reach out in need and cry out. It is in those times that our wonderful  Saviour meets us right where we are. It is in the sorrow of our lives that learn how precious joy is, the joy of knowing He not only sees our pain but He has experienced it and understands if far better than we know. He knows the pain when we are broken-hearted, He has been mocked, hurt, betrayed, accused and punished for things He did not do! Jesus suffered wrongful charges and was held captive, so He understands our desire for freedom! Our Lord experienced mourning, when His cousin was beheaded, when His friend died and his family wanted to know where Jesus was and why He delayed coming to them and the greatest mourning when on the cross He felt the absence of His Father’s presence!  He knew unending demands for His time and folks who tried His patience. There is nothing we struggle with that did not cross His path first. There is nothing that is beyond the scope of His understanding and nothing that He cannot turn around and use for our good. God never wastes our hurts and our pain and when we intrust ourselves to His care in the midst of it, He can turn it into something more beautiful that we could ever ask or imagine!!

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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