We live in a world full of confusion and chaos with social media and smart devices leaving us with a constant reminder for which it seems impossible to escape. Whether it is riots, protests, political uproar and upheaval, or natural disasters like we’ve seen recently, people are looking for a CAUSE and a MESSAGE to clear up the confusion and bring change and relief to the mess. I’m going to be bold and say the answer is authentic Christianity. With this confusion and misunderstanding, people are really confused and misunderstood about what authentic Christianity really is. By reading and studying Isaiah 61:1-4, the answer to everyone’s cry of hope and justice is found in the authentic message of Christianity. Yes, I do encourage you to read this passage, especially if you aren’t a Christ Follower.
The Good News is that God has a Message in the middle of the Mess!
This was written in a very difficult season in the nation of Israel’s history. The people this was written for were in despair and had no sign of hope. God doesn’t spare us from messes, but He speaks to us in the middle of our mess and gives us Good News. When I say God, I mean Yahweh, the Lord who created everyone and everything, the One and only true God! That’s who’s speaking in the message, and it’s Good News!
The good news is about what God did through Jesus the Messiah and how He brings salvation and rescue in the midst of our brokenness through the life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Note that this was written about Jesus around 1,000 years before He came. The definition of the word “poor” in this passage is “those that have been hit hard by life’s calamities”. What can Jesus and His Good News do for us and the world?
1. He heals our brokenness
The word poor not only means without material things but it means those who’ve been hit hard by life’s calamities. Do you have an inward brokenness that nothing can fix? The only answer is the healing power of Jesus Christ!
2. He frees us from oppression
There is a lot of oppression in our world today, and it exists in a lot of forms: racism, sex trafficking, addiction, abortion, pornography, abusive relationships, bullying and so many more to name. The reason why Jesus came is to set us free, and freedom can only be found in His name. Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of the devil!
3. He gives us true justice and hope
Justice is a popular word, and everyone is looking for hope. The good news is Jesus is going to make all wrongs right. He already began the process 2,000 years ago, and He will finish the process when He returns. The end of Bible states that Jesus will wipe away ever tear from the eyes of those who gave their life to Him. The question is which side of right and wrong are you on?
4. He has the only cause that can bring real change
Right now, everyone loves causes. They love to rally around causes and start them. We live in a cause driven generation. Recently when I was eating outside at Chipotle, someone was holding a sign protesting eating meat, however, there is only one cause that can change the world and that’s the cause of Christ. What does His cause do? What is His mission? What should His people be about? They build up the ancient ruins and raise up the former devastations and repair ruined cities of former generations.
This is what people are begging for in our culture, and in Isaiah 61:4 this is what it says about the mission of Jesus and His people. Jesus has a movement, where one day people from all nations, races, tribes and tongues are going to bow at His feet.
What if you’ve been burned by the Church?
I know you’ve seen so many professed Christians do anything but this. You call them hypocrites, but they are broken people just like non-Christians. If you’re a professed Christian, I want to call you back to what we are supposed to be about, and that’s Isaiah 61:1-4. If you’re a non-Christian, I want to clear up your confusion and say I’m sorry for the misunderstanding by pointing out the four things I mentioned above from an Old Testament passage that gets right to the point. It says this is what the Bible, Jesus, and His people are really about.
In Luke 4, Jesus walked into the synagogue and picked up a scroll containing Isaiah 61:1-4, read the scroll, put it down, and stated that He was fulfilling this thousand year old prophecy right before their eyes in the ultimate mic drop moment. Jesus would later pass this mission on to His disciples, who have passed it on thousands of years to Jesus’ present day followers. It’s now my mission, and it can be your mission.
Where do we go from here:
1. If you’ve embraced the Good News, take the Good News to those that have been shattered by life’s circumstances.
2. If you are looking for a message and a movement that can restore the world, embrace the Good News of Jesus Christ. Devote your life to Jesus and His Kingdom because it will the only one standing at the end of time.