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Sunday, March 22nd, 1992
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
I want you to open your Bible today, to the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 61. I am going to be speaking from verses 1, 2, and 3. You will get so much more from this message if you will take the Bible, open it and read along with me and let me try, as the Spirit of God gives us some understanding, to explain to you what our Lord is saying here. The title of the message is: “Jesus Christ the Messiah.”
Let me give you a little background. Our Lord came to the earth in the likeness of our flesh. It was in the likeness of sinful flesh. The apostle Paul said that He came to the earth, “In the form of a servant.” Our Lord was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. He was born of a virgin in order that He might not partake of Adam’s sin. He was a man-child, a human being and had a human nature just like yours and mine. He was, “Yet without sin.” He said, “A body hast Thou prepared me.” Actually, the Lord of glory came into this world.
Paul wrote in First Timothy, Chapter Three, “Great is the mystery of Godliness.” It is a mystery of Godliness. “God was manifest in human flesh.” Jesus Christ actually came to this earth and inhabited the body of a man. He dwelt in human flesh on this earth. He was “Born of a woman, born under the law.”
He grew up in a little town called Nazareth. He was a man and grew up as a child. He increased in wisdom, stature and favor with God and men. He was still God in human flesh. I can’t explain that. He was a man, but yet He is God, the God-man. “He was tempted, tested, and tried in all points as we are, yet without sin.” He lived on this earth and worked in a carpenter shop. They called him the “Carpenter.”
He grew up in Nazareth until He was 30 years old. He left Nazareth when He was 30 years old and began to preach the gospel of His grace. It was the gospel of His mercy to sinners. He began to perform miracles. Word spread rapidly everywhere of His Words. “No man spake like this man.” They spoke of His miracles. Nicodemus said, “We know you came from God because no man can do the things you do except God be with Him.” They were talking about His mighty deeds.
The word came back to Nazareth about these things that He was saying and these things that He was doing in other parts of that country. So, when He came back to Nazareth, as His custom was, the scripture says, “when He returned back to His home town, He went to the Synagogue on the Sabbath Day.” It was on Saturday, the seventh day of the week, which is the Sabbath Day. It was when the Jews met to worship. Our Lord was in the Synagogue. That was His custom.
“He was made of a woman, made under the law.” He was circumcised when he was eight days old. He was a Jewish son of a Jewish woman and His foster father (Joseph) was a Jew. He was subject to all the laws of the Jewish religion. So, on the Sabbath Day He went to the Synagogue where all the people had gathered.
Remember, they had heard all about Him. They said, “Do we not know His mother, and His brothers and sisters? Is this not the carpenter? How can He say that He came down from heaven when we know He was raised right here in Nazareth?”
When He came to the Synagogue, as His custom was, He stood up to read the scripture. Of course, our God is brilliant even as a man. Our Lord Jesus Christ, when he was 12 years old, was in the temple talking with the leaders of religion. He was answering the questions of the doctors and lawyers. Evidently, He must have been the one who read in the Synagogue.
They delivered Him a Book. It was the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. It was of Isaiah the prophet. They gave Him this Book to read on this particular day. Everybody was there I’m sure (because of the fame of Him), they had heard about the great things He had done.
When He stood up to read, He selected this passage, (this is what I told you to turn to), Isaiah 61, verses one through three. This is the passage of scripture, which our Lord read that Sabbath morning in the Synagogue when He returned to Nazareth, where He was brought up. He read, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because He hath anointed Me to preach good news to the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive, the opening of prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn, to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise to the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.”
In Luke Four, it gives an account of this day in the Synagogue. When Christ read that scripture, He closed the Book and gave it back to the man in charge. He sat down and all the eyes of them that were in the Synagogue were just fastened on Him. They were waiting to see what He was going to say.
Now, this scripture that He read, they recognized that it was a Messianic prophecy. It had to do with the Messiah. They did know that much. They waited to see what He would have to say about this. He chose this and He selected it. Nobody chose it for Him, He chose this passage of scripture and He read it to them. When He sat down every eye in the Synagogue was fastened on Him. This is what He said, “This day, (this moment, after all these years and decades, centuries and millenniums, this day, after all the time since this scripture was written, this day, right now), is this scripture fulfilled, (come to pass) in your ears.”
You see, in our Lord Jesus Christ, in this person, Jesus of Nazareth, this God-man, God Almighty has fulfilled every promise, every prophecy, every picture and pattern of the entire Old Testament. He has fulfilled everything that has to do with salvation, redemption and our relationship with God. He promised, prophesied, and pictured salvation in the Old Testament. This day, it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Christ is salvation, He is redemption, He is God, and He is eternal life. Everything is fulfilled in Him and that is what He is saying, “This day, is this scripture, and all scripture fulfilled.” Every promise, every prophecy, every pattern, every picture and every type is fulfilled. It’s fulfilled from Genesis to Malachi. “This day, this moment, it is all fulfilled here before you in your ears.”
Look with me at this text again, that He read. Turn to Isaiah 61 verses one through three and let’s see what God has fulfilled in Christ. What does this mean?
First of all, this is what He says; this is the man, the God-man. He says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” Now, the Lord Jesus Christ is very God of very God and as God, He does not need any additional power, glory or spirit. He has the Spirit and He is the Spirit. Yet, as a man, He is a man. He is a man in every sense of the word. He had to be a man to be identified with us. The scripture says, “As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same.” Even the one who redeemed them must partake of flesh and blood. He must be to some extent limited. He limited Himself.
So, as a man in human flesh, He must have the Spirit of God. He prayed in John 17, “Father glorify Me.” God needs no more glory. God has all glory. Yet, this is God and yet He is a man. Do you understand what I am saying? He’s our Representative. As our Representative, He has to be subject to all these things. So, He says, “God has put His Spirit upon Me.”
When He was baptized in the River Jordan by John, the scripture says, “The Spirit of God descended upon Him in the form of a dove.” John bare witness of Him, he said, “The Lord said to me, upon whom you see the Spirit descend, that is the Son of God, that is the Messiah. God giveth the Spirit without measure to Him.” We have the Holy Spirit, in measure. It is a small measure that we have when we compare the vastness, power, and omnipotence of the Spirit of God. What a brief measure or small measure we do have. God giveth not the Spirit by measure to Him, but without measure to Him. Here the Lord says, “The Spirit of God is upon Me.”
Notice the next line, “Because He hath anointed Me.” You see, God ordained and appointed the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Surety, the Surety of the everlasting covenant. He is the Shepherd of the sheep. He is the Surety of the covenant. “He is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” He is our Mediator. He is our Advocate and He has been appointed, ordained and anointed of God to serve in that capacity. “He’s Prophet, Priest and King. The Lord God anointed Me.”
You see; “No man takes this honor upon himself.” Even the priest of the Old Testament, Aaron, and the sons of Levi, didn’t volunteer for this office. God chose them. The one that God chose became the High Priest. The apostle Paul said, “Even so, Jesus Christ took not this honor upon Himself, but the Lord God appointed Me and anointed Me.” God set Him forth to be our High Priest, our sin offering, our Mediator and our Mercy Seat. God sent Him into the world to represent us.
He was the second Adam to represent us in life, death and the resurrection. God has appointed Him! That means because God has appointed Him, He is the only High Priest. He’s the one Mediator. He’s the only Prophet, Priest and King. “He has a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord. The Spirit of God, He says, is upon Me because The Lord God anointed Me.”
One hymn writer said:
Bright and joyful is the morn
Unto us a child is born,
From the highest realm of heaven
Unto us His Son is given.
On His shoulders He shall bare
Power and Majesty He shall wear,
On His vesture and on His thigh
Names most glorious, names most High.
Wonderful, Counselor, He the incarnate Deity
Rock of Ages never to cease
King of Kings, Prince of Peace.
Come and worship at His feet
Yield to Him the Glory meet,
From the manger to the throne
Glory due to God alone.
The Spirit of God is upon Me, He said, “Because the Lord God anointed Me,” appointed Me, ordained Me and sent Me to do what.”
Look at the next line, “The Spirit of God is upon Me, the Lord God hath anointed Me,” and appointed Me, to do what? The answer is, “To preach good tidings to the meek.” I am to preach, to proclaim good news, and to declare good news to the meek.
My friend, true preaching is a proclamation. True preaching is a declaration. True preaching is a means of setting forth the gospel, the good news of the grace of God. True preaching declares that there is forgiveness for the transgressor. There is grace for the guilty. There is mercy for the miserable. There is salvation for sinners. He says, “the Lord God anointed Me to preach,” (to proclaim, to declare good tidings and good news) to the meek. True preaching is not persuading men to do something for God (that is not true preaching). True preaching is the proclamation of what God has done for men.
You can’t keep giving me something to do for God when God is independent and God needs nothing from us. Christ says, “If I was hungry, I wouldn’t ask you.” He said, “The cattle on a thousand hills are mine. The gold and silver that hasn’t been mined, belongs to Me.” God owns all things. We can’t add anything to Him. If you are constantly badgering me with what I ought to do for God, you are giving me an impossible task. That is not good news!
Christ said, “He sent me to preach and to proclaim good news.” There is forgiveness. There is mercy. There is grace, there is life and there is hope. That is good news! It is a proclamation and a declaration of what God has done for us. “Christ came into the world to seek and to save the lost.” He came to seek the meek and the poor. “Christ died for the ungodly.” He came to save sinners. “He sent Me to preach good news to the meek, to the poor, to the humble and to the lowly.”
I will tell you this, the first steps that a man takes toward heaven, is when he finds out that he is a sinner. That is exactly right! Christ came to save sinners. “He didn’t come to call the righteous; He came to call sinners to repentance.” When a person finds out that they are lost, there is a good possibility that they will be found. When a man finds out that he is a sinner, there is a good possibility that he will be saved. When a man finds out that he is nothing and that he has nothing and that he knows nothing and deserves nothing, there is a good possibility that God will proclaim good news to him. There is grace for the guilty and there is mercy for the miserable.
I was preaching on this station several years ago. There was a young man who lives in West Virginia, near the Virginia state line. He turned on the television one Sunday morning and was going to listen to some music. Instead, he saw and heard me preach the gospel. He told me later, “You pointed your finger at me and said I was a sinner.” He said that the first thing I said was, “There’s a lot of difference between you and me, but there is one thing that we have in common, you’re a sinner and I’m a sinner.”
That man said that he got so angry that he turned the television off and said, “I am not a sinner.” He backed up and sat down in his chair and said, “I’m not a sinner.” The longer he sat there and thought about it, the more it troubled him. He finally decided that maybe he was a sinner. He went back and turned the television on and God spoke to his heart. He brought him to know the Saviour. He brought him to love the gospel. God said, “He came to preach the gospel to the meek, to the poor, to the lost and to sinners.”
Look at the next line, “And the Lord God sent me to bind up the broken hearted.” What does this broken heart mean? Well, I know everybody listening to me at one time or another has experienced some sadness, and sorrow over events that have transpired in your life. Your heart has been broken. We use the term, “That just broke my heart.” Well, that is not what this is talking about here. The broken heart and the one Christ came to heal, is the one that is broken over sin. Their heart is broken because of sin against God. My heart is broken because of my sin.
You see, that is what it means when it says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is nigh unto them of a broken heart.” You see; that is not physically speaking of some fleshly event or the relationship with someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife that has broken your heart. God deals with a broken heart over sin. “The sacrifices of God are a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” The Lord will not despise. Christ said, “I came to preach good news to the poor, the gospel. I came to bind up and to heal the broken hearted, the person whose heart is broken over sin.”
Salvation is a heart work. Repentance is a heart work. Faith is a heart work. If you will read Psalm 51, you will find that David’s heart is broken because he sinned against God. He’s brought reproach upon his Lord and he is praying for God’s forgiveness, mercy and lovingkindness.
Look at the next statement, it says, “He sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captive.” It is freedom to those held captive. You might say that we are not held captive. We live in a free country. We have democracy. This is talking about setting free, those that are captive of the law, the law of sin and death. They are captives to the justice and judgment of God. We’re captives of the law. We have broken the law; therefore, the law has a claim on us. The law has captured us. The law will hold us until that debt is discharged, until that debt is paid.
The justice of God has a hold of us. The justice of God says that we have broken the law. The Word says, “The soul that sinneth, shall surely die.” So, we are captives. We are held captive by the law of sin and death and we’re held captive by the justice of God.
Christ came to set the captive free. “He came to open the prison to them that are bound.” You see, Jesus Christ came to this world and fulfilled that law as our Representative, as our Substitute. Because of what Christ has done for us by imputing to us and charging it to our account, He imputes perfect righteousness.
Christ went to the cross and there, the justice, judgment and wrath of God, for our sins, were laid on Him. He set us free! He says, “He has sent Me to proclaim freedom, and liberty:”
Free from the law Oh happy condition
Jesus has died and there is remission,
Cursed by the law, slain by the fall
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.
He did set us free! He didn’t try to; He didn’t do half of it and leave the rest for us to do. He set the captive free by His obedience and by His death.
In September 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued an “Emancipation Proclamation.” He declared all slaves to be free. It wasn’t a suggestion, it wasn’t an invitation, and it wasn’t a request, it was an order. It was a proclamation. They are free as of January 1, 1863. I will tell you this; my Lord came down here with the Spirit of God on Him. He was sent by the Father to be anointed and to be the Prophet, Priest and King. He set the captives free!
He was sent to “Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” What is the acceptable year of the Lord? That is the year of the Jubilee. The Old Testament Jews had a year of Jubilee, which was the 50th year. They numbered seven Sabbath years. Every seventh year was a Sabbatic Year. Seven of the Sabbatical Years made the fiftieth. On that year of Jubilee, every man sold into slavery was free. All property that was lost, stolen or sold was restored. All debts were cancelled. There was a year of rest proclaimed. Christ said, “This is the year of Jubilee, God sent Me to proclaim the acceptable year of Jubilee.”
Every slave of sin who believes on Christ is free. All who believes that are lost in Adam are restored. All our property and possessions sold down the river by sin are restored in Christ, because Christ pays all our debts. All of our sin-debts are cancelled this day and we enter into His rest forever more. “The Spirit of God is upon Me. This day, this is all fulfilled.” Preach good news, heal the broken hearted, set at liberty the captive. Open the prisons to them that are bound and proclaim the year of Jubilee. You are free in Christ; Jesus Christ is the Messiah!