Prayer Diary

God’ Word to the Nation

Isaiah Chapters 61-63

When Jesus was growing up in Nazareth, being taught how to read and write through the Old Testament scriptures, even as a young boy, we see he had a deep grasp of word of God. Isaiah’s words must have been ingrained in his mind during his growing years, waiting for the time he would step out into the ministry he had come to earth to fulfill. The book of Isaiah, in many ways, is a complete summary of all the teachings in the Bible concerning God’s plan of salvation, regarding sin, the need for repentance, God’s provision of a Saviour who would die for the sins of the world but rise again from the dead. It covers heaven and hell, the creation of the eternal new earth and heaven where God’s presence among his people will be forever.

Of all the prophets, Isaiah had the most profound and detailed insight into the coming of God’s Messiah, whose virgin birth he foretold seven hundred years before the event. Jesus would have been familiar with all Isaiah’s prophetic words. These included the detailed description of the Saviour suffering on the cross for the sins of the world and being buried in a rich man’s tomb as recorded in Isaiah 52:13 through to 53:12. He was fully aware this was his purpose for coming into the world and his destiny, which he had willingly embraced even before leaving the glory of heaven to come to be born, not in a palace but in a stable.

So familiar with Isaiah’s prophecies was Jesus, that he choose this passage from Isaiah 61:1-2, to launch his ministry to Israel and the world, as he proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” By so doing Jesus set out his mission, which he powerfully modelled in both word and action and which he then delegated to his followers to continue.

He fearlessly, yet compassionately, preached the good news. The Kingdom of Heaven was near and people needed to repent of their sins. He was God’s Saviour of the world and the only Way, Truth and Life through whom anyone could come to God the Father. He demonstrated that was who he said he was, namely God’s Son, by his miracles, signs and wonders among the people, with his resurrection of the third day being his ultimate vindication.

As we pray through the prayer points this month, we are asking God to help us continue the mission of Jesus, just as he instructed us to do.