Read:  Isaiah 61

Focus:
I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God!  For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.  Isaiah 61:10

Isaiah is writing to a people in exile.  He’s telling them that their suffering is not forever, that the LORD is going to bring justice for their suffering and blessing in its place.  This is by all accounts a prophecy of hope for people who are suffering.

But Jesus quotes from this passage at the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth, after which He proclaims that the prophecy was fulfilled as He read it.  Jesus was saying that the true meaning of this hopeful prediction was not the return from physical exile but the return from spiritual exile.  That a day was coming and had now arrived, that we would not be exiled from God any longer but that we would be welcomed by God in the most intimate relationship – His Spirit living inside of us, speaking to us, guiding us. The separation from God was at an end, and we can come home.

In verse 10 Isaiah captures the joy of a people who have been in exile from God in their hearts and have been restored, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God!” Then he declares how God will accomplish this homecoming, “For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.”

Isaiah proclaims that our restoration, our homecoming, our salvation and our right standing with God is ultimately His doing.  He will dress us with salvation and cover us with His righteousness.  Phillipians 3:9 captures this truth… “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”

God does indeed bring freedom as we receive His rescue from spiritual exile and sight from our spiritual blindness.  All of that comes through the gift of salvation and His righteousness through Jesus and what He did on the cross, and then ultimately through the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  And as the Spirit lives inside our hearts, reuniting us in relationship with our Heavenly Father, He does in fact bind up our broken hearts, proclaim freedom and release us from the darkness of our own prisons.   

Jesus did and does to this day proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.  Are you walking in that freedom and favor.  Ask the LORD today for the fullness of Isaiah 61 in your heart.  Ask the Holy Spirit to bring freedom to those places you feel imprisoned, to bring sight to where you feel blind, and receive Gods salvation and righteousness.  If you have been trying to earn your own salvation through your own righteousness, confess that to God, and ask Him to give you His.

Prayer:
Father, thank you that Isaiah 61 is so much more than just a return from physical exile.   That you had and have a plan to return people from spiritual exile.  Help me to walk in that liberty today.  Give me your sight, and heal the wounds the years of separation have inflicted, and let me walk in and help me be a purveyor of Your favor.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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