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Mission Accomplished Part Two

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Dr. Victor BaughLuke 4:16-21

In Isaiah 61:1-3, the Prophet of Redemption said, “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 broken-hearted, 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.”
Jesus is the only man in history to be anointed Prophet, Priest, and King. As Prophet, he preached good tidings to the humble. As Priest, he bound up the wounded of heart. As King, he set the captive free. In short, He justified, pardoned, and liberated.
Messiah came but was rejected by His own (Israel). “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). He died a cruel death on Calvary, was buried, arose, ascended to heaven and afterwards sent the Holy Spirit of Promise that ushered in the Day of Grace.  When His own rejected Him, the door to Salvation was flung open to the Gentiles and  “… as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). What a glorious day when Mission was Accomplished!
In Luke 4, Jesus is the speaker. He began His teaching that day in the Nazareth synagogue by introducing Himself as the One who fulfilled that great Messianic depiction of Isaiah 61:1. Knowing as He did their reluctance to accept Him as Messiah, Jesus began by having them to understand His anointed position.
Jesus stopped reading at Luke 4:19, indicating that thereafter the message was for a future time. It had nothing to do with the Age of Grace. Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 61. It bears repeating that verses 3-4 are speaking of the Kingdom Age, a time of peace and blessing, which Messiah will usher in; a time, as Isaiah had said, “appointed 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.” Some scholars view this as the Year of Jubilee. A time of “liberty” when Israel is restored. This is important, not only for Israel, but for we who know Christ as our Savior.
Look at Isaiah 62:12: “And they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called, sought out, a city not forsaken.” This speaks of the Millennial Kingdom, the result of “Mission Accomplished.”
Let’s launch a little deeper. Jubilee symbolizes salvation (liberty) by God’s grace, with the Jubilee trumpet typifying the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In order to receive beauty for ashes, we must come with a repentant heart toward God. He gives the joy of pardon to those who mourn. To the heavy laden who have repented of sin Christ gives the garment of praise. Those who trust Him for salvation are Trees of Righteousness, the Planting of the Lord.
The salvation which Christ accomplished is to the glory of God (I Corinthians 1:29-31; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 1:3-14). And there are untold blessings for God’s elect, Israel, during the Kingdom Age as represented by Isaiah in 61:11. Of a certainty, together the Saints of all ages—Old Testament Saints, the Church Age Saints, and the Tribulation Saints—shall “… rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth the bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations” (Isaiah 61:10-11).
Not one of his chosen shall perish, and thank God for a “whosoever will” gospel, for God’s salvation is guaranteed by the Father’s Purpose, the Son’s Purchase, and the Spirit’s Power. And don’t forget, we are all included according to Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
How will you celebrate the birth of Christ this year? As a pagan custom? As a time of food and circus? As a time of random, expensive gift-giving, forgetting whose birthday it really is?
May I suggest that you open the Word of God to Isaiah—the Prophet of Redemption—and read “His-Story” again. You see, as some would have you believe, the birth and life and death story of Christ is only religious. I say it is history, as well—HIS-STORY. The two cannot be separated. And next, allow yourself an extra blessing and listen to Handel’s MESSIAH again as the music swells in grandeur. Feel the pride that you are a child of God, that Messiah Come is your personal Savior. Let it soothe your soul and rejoice in the God of your Salvation.
May this Season be meaningful and joyous as you celebrate Mission Accomplished! —the birth of our dear Savior— “… Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
In Christ Alone,
Victor W. Baugh, Sr., Th.D., Ph.D.
Pastor, St. Luke AME Church
Havana, AL
http://www.thatgracemayabound.blogspot.com/