Thursday, December 23, 2010

No Longer Poor, Captive, Blind and Oppressed

I read Luke 4 recently and marveled at the scene of Jesus reading Scripture in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. The text says that the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. Jesus unrolls the scroll and finds this part of the text in Isaiah:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)

When I read these words from Isaiah 61, I'm instantly drawn to the purpose of Christ's coming. But when I read this in Luke 4, I was struck by the fact that Christ was present and reading the very words written about him years prior to his coming. I am grateful for the Gospel as I see words that described me as: Poor, captive, blind and oppressed. Before the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the "good news" the diagnoses of my spiritual condition was exactly how the prophet described it. I would have reacted as those people did in the synagogue that day when they lead him out to a cliff to throw him down. They wanted him dead because he exposed the truth about their souls.

By God's grace the good new has penetrated my soul. I am no longer spiritually poor but abundantly rich in Christ. I am no longer captive to sin but free in Christ. I am no longer spiritually blind because God has graciously revealed himself to me through Christ. I am no longer oppressed but justified in Christ. This is amazing news. The good news is the purpose of Christ's coming.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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