When Jesus began His ministry, He stood in the temple and read from Isaiah 61:1-2, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” When Jesus saves us, it is for this same calling. Sometimes people get it mixed up and think that they need to be doing the saving, that they need to be condemning and telling people that they are sinning, but it is Jesus who saves, and it is the Holy Spirit who shines His light on our lives so that we can know we are in sin and need His help. All we are asked to do is to share The Good News of Salvation, which is the title of Isaiah 61 in the New King James Version.Isaiah 61 continues in verses 2-4, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God. To comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified. And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.” And in verse 7, “Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land, they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs."
The phrase, “the day of vengeance of our God” is an important part of the story. In all of our lives there have been things that have been done to us or to those we care for that have caused pain. Sometimes it is the seemingly random pain caused by illness or death, and sometimes it is something that has been directly done to us by another person. The vengeance of God when it comes to these situations will bring healing to us and justice to the situation. The justice God brings will be tempered with mercy, and can bring restoration to even those things that seem impossible to restore. As the Lord brings healing to us, we become able to rebuild and repair those things that have been made desolate, and to reach out with His healing love to repair the desolation in the lives of many who have lived in despair for generations. It is important to understand that the vengeance is of God and not ours. The work that He has given to us is the work of restoring, of speaking comfort and consolation, of proclaiming the Good News.In verses 10-11 we read, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness to spring forth before all the nations.” As we read that we can ourselves put on those garments and ornaments, and we can take on the call to spread the Good News. The Lord God Himself will cause righteousness to spring forth, and we can do our part by sharing His message with others. We can do our part by sharing His message of mercy, of love and of healing.