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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim 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.”—Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”—Luke 4:18 (NIV)
We’ve all seen the movies where a city or group of innocent people are unjustly imprisoned or taken captive by an antagonist. A hero rises in an unsuspecting way, overcoming all odds to defeat the enemy and bring freedom and restoration to the people. This pattern of good overcoming evil is the story of the gospel, and it’s overlaid into every captivating story. In fact, it’s summarized in these two passages of Scripture.
In the first passage, the prophet Isaiah is speaking on behalf of the Anointed One. In the Old Testament, anointing is a sign of the Holy Spirit often indicated with oil, often placed on the head. Priests were anointed, and the oil on the outside symbolized the calling, service, and transformation happening on the inside. Here, the Anointed One is called out from the others who were anointed in the Old Testament. This One is the Messiah.
In addition, the Old Testament prophecies were warnings of the day and predictions about the future. There are hundreds of prophecies about Jesus, written or spoken hundreds of years before He came to the earth. He fulfilled them all! Specifically, Isaiah’s prophecy found here in chapter 61. It was written about 700 years before Jesus was born and, as we’ll see, it clearly points to Jesus.
Fast forward to the Book of Luke. In the first three chapters, we read about Jesus’ birth in a manger, His genealogy, and His baptism. All of these prophecies were fulfilled.
In the verses just before our passage today, Jesus is in the synagogue and stands up to read the scroll of Isaiah. After quoting directly from Isaiah 61, Jesus declares that this prophecy is fulfilled in Him. This scroll illuminated His purpose. He is the One that all of the prophets talked about—the Messiah; the Anointed One! Hundreds of years later, it’s the same Spirit that has anointed Him. It’s the same Lord who is speaking. It’s the same purpose of God to send His Son to bring freedom, healing, comfort, and the good news. This was and is mind-blowing!
Being that this took place at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus’ declaration sets up what we see in the rest of the Book of Luke and the other gospel accounts. Jesus physically, emotionally, and spiritually brings freedom and healing to those who are imprisoned, brokenhearted, or blinded.
This is what Jesus continues to do for us today. We are the citizens of the city in that movie who have been taken captive. We are impoverished, bound, and blinded by sin. We need somebody to rescue us. Jesus is our Hero, who conquered the evil one and came to set us free!
You have a purpose. You were made with a purpose. You don’t have to do live out your purpose alone. God accomplishes it through you. Your job is to listen to Him, obey Him, and follow Him (Hebrews 13:21; Romans 8:11; Philippians 2:13).
Denise Trio has been on staff with Calvary for almost two years, serving as the Director of Strategic Development. She has 10 years of project management experience, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Engingeering from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. When not on campus, Denise is either making her way through her book list at the beach, ordering tacos on any menu that serves them, or running her side business, The Rose Creative, which specializes in creating beautiful and meaningful products for her clients.