Someday God’s glory will shine in Jerusalem through his anointed Servant, Jesus Christ. This future has been partially realized when Jesus Christ came to earth, and partially when Israel became a state in 1948, but the final consummation is still to come.
As followers of Jesus, “God ‘shines’ through us when his ethical life is reproduced in us by his grace. When we lay down our pride in submission to him…put the good of others ahead of our own religious accomplishments… live lives that embody his truth and justice…there will be light—a light that is not our own but reflects the glory that the Trinity shared before the beginning of time,” (Oswalt 647).
In Isaiah 61, the work of the promised Messiah is made clear. He was anointed “to preach good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, and release for the prisoners, 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…, (Isa.61:1-3, NIV).
When Jesus began his earthly ministry, he read this section of Isaiah, then said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,” (Luke 4:18-21.) He was telling them he was the promised Messiah. The Messiah, the Anointed One, was to be the means whereby God’s people would be enabled to live righteous lives. He would not only deliver his people, but also transform them.
God loves justice and hates sin. One of the effects of the “everlasting covenant” he will make with them is that they will be able to live as God’s true children should.
The theme in Isaiah 61 continues in chapter 62. Righteousness is possible only because of God’s salvation, and because of salvation we are expected to live righteous lives.
In chapter 62, Isaiah is “drawing together strands from throughout his book in an effort to call the people to take action to receive the promises God is making to them. They can be the righteous people of God, his “Holy People” (62:12) who will draw all nations to him” (Oswalt, 656). God sees worth and value in us. He saved us from sin and failure in order to set us free.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, Almighty God, for defeating the sin that used to reign in me. I praise you that you have done what the law could not do. You have set me free from failure as well as from unrighteousness. Now shine through me for your glory. Amen.