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Summary: Jesus in Isaiah (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: Isaiah chapter 61 verses 1-11

This chapter starts off with two starkly contrasting truths:

• Both truths are found in verse 2:

• (1st). “The year of the LORD's favour”. (2nd). “The day of vengeance of our God”

Both come out of the previous chapter which ends on the thought that:

• Life, our circumstances, our situations, peoples sinfulness will not just carry on forever.

• One day God will bring them to a sudden end.

• But for now we have an intervening period (e.g. our expression ‘Day of grace’);

• However long or short, is this time of opportunity, we are not told.

• But we are told it is not to be taken lightly,

• For terrible judgment awaits those who ignore it or carelessly let it pass by.

We are going to concentrate this morning, on the time of Gods favour,

• And above all on the person (the Messiah) who ushers it in.

• It begins with him in verses 1-6.

• No-one introduces him;

• He simply speaks for himself,

• Demanding our attention;

• Quite unselfconsciously and without arrogance, but with tremendous authority.

In fact 3 times we are told the source of his authority in verse 1:

• “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me”

• “The LORD has anointed me”.

• “He has sent me”.

• You can’t help but notice this person is sent from God!

• He lays his credentials down for everybody to see.

• This person mentioned is someone of quite extraordinary importance.

We have met him before, of course.

• Cast your mind back to chapter 42 (first servant song of the Messiah):

• Where God spoke and said concerning his servant: “I will put my Spirit on him”.

• And also in chapter 11 verse 1-2 referring to the Messiah who will come:

• “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse…the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him”.


• A children’s catechism class was learning the Apostles Creed.

• Each child had been assigned a sentence to repeat.

• The first one said, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”

• The second child said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son…”

• When he had completed his sentence, there was an embarrassing silence.

• Finally, one child piped up, “Teacher, the boy who believes in the Holy Spirit isn’t here.”

In stark contrast to that boy:

• Isaiah informs us again and again and again;

• That the Messiah will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit & full of authority!

Gods Messiah as Isaiah saw him:

• Is both the Servant of chapters 40-55;

• And the Messiah of chapters 1–35.

• Here is the great theological breakthrough of Isaiah's vision and the heart of his gospel.

• The Messiah must suffer and rise again.

• Only then (after this suffering and resurrection;

• Can the year of the LORD'S favour be ushered in.

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