A Prophecy of the First and Second Comings of Jesus Christ
There are an enormous number of prophecies about Jesus Christ in the Bible. Here’s 365 of them.
Some of these have become traditional readings in churches and in homes at Christmastime. The traditional narratives of Christ’s birth found in the Gospels are appropriately popular at this time of year, too. Isaiah 53 has always been an important one as well.
And the redemption found in that one usually reduces me to a pile of tears.
In this post however, I want to break from the norm just a little and share with you the first 2 verses of Isaiah 61.
This chapter is referred to as the Year of the Lord’s Favor and it’s a prophecy of what has been and what’s to come.
Since Jesus fulfilled at least 365 prophecies, wouldn’t it make sense to look at just one that he has yet to execute?
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because the has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;”
Jesus Makes a Bold Move
Jesus opened his public ministry by rolling out a copy of the Isaiah scroll to a specific verse and citing Isaiah publicly in the synagogue (Luke 4:16-19).
He stopped his reading before the part in that passage that states, “the day of the Lord’s vengeance.” He didn’t even finish the sentence in the Isaiah scroll.
Wait… did Jesus take that Scripture out of context by leaving something out? Not a chance.
Why? Because his earthly ministry was to fulfill the first part of that prophecy. That was “to proclaim good news, restore sight to the blind, set captives free, and to declare the year of the Lord’s favor.”
His very deliberate move of closing the scroll and returning it to the attendant sends the clear message that he has yet to “proclaim the day of vengeance of our God.”
It’s a clear warning for all of us that if He were to fulfill hundreds of prophecies, which he did do, and historical records support this, then he will return to complete the other prophecies.Isaiah 61 is prophecy about Christ's return. Here's how that relates to Christmas.Click To Tweet
Prophecy Fulfilled and What’s Coming Next
Isaiah’s written perspective was about 700 years before Christ’s first coming. Yet every single detail that Isaiah prophesied about that event has been fulfilled.
You and I have the advantage of reading Isaiah 2,000 years after Christ’s birth. In Isaiah 61:2, Isaiah, not having any reference of time between these prophecies separates the year of the Lord’s favor (first coming) from the day of vengeance (second coming) using the insignificant word and.
In reality, that little and is the time between when Jesus proclaimed and fulfilled this verse and when he returns to complete the second part of it.Here's how Isaiah 61 shows 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season' is more than holiday clicheClick To Tweet
Isaiah 53 is where the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s first coming in Isaiah 61:1-2 culminates as Jesus would die on the cross as our Redeemer.
Everything in chapter 53 of Isaiah has been fulfilled.
Isaiah 63 is where the “day of vengeance of our God” from Isaiah 61:2 is foretold.
Here’s another warning about that chapter: he won’t return as an infant to a manger.
Jesus is the Reason for the Season
That’s my message this Christmas. The hope that is in me is that Jesus Christ has brought redemption.
When the birth and the life of one man, Jesus, fulfilled hundreds of prophecies that were made centuries before his birth, it’s undeniable that my hope, my trust, and my faith is placed in him.
And I need a redeemer.We celebrate the gift of Christ's birth once a year, yet his gift reaches into eternity.Click To Tweet
This Christmas, as you give and receive gifts, I hope you take some quiet moment and appreciate Christmas for what it really is. Without Christ, there is no Christmas.
That truly means Jesus is the reason for the season.
And, though we celebrate the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ but once each year, his gift reaches into eternity.