Sermon: Advent 3B (OT)
Theme: Restored by the Lord
Summary: Isaiah sums up our sorry condition as sinners born under the curse of the Law. We are poor, brokenhearted, captive, and devastated. By birth, we are dead in our trespasses. The Lord sent the prophet to bring good news to His people. Later, John assumed the same prophetic mantle and then Jesus completely fulfilled the task by both announcing and winning victory over sin, death, and devil.
Because of Christ’s triumph, all who believe in Him receive His gifts. We hear the good news that we are forgiven, enriched, liberated, gladdened, enlivened, and saved. We are restored — not to some higher point earlier in our lives but to the sinless freedom that our first parents knew in the garden and that we will see fully revealed when Jesus returns to judge the world and to raise the believers into eternal life.
Already, God has dressed us in “the robe of righteousness,” preparing us for a glorious eternity bedecked “like a priest with a beautiful headdress and as a bride ... with her jewels.”
Text: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord 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; to grant to those who mourn in Zion — to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations....
For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the Lord has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult 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 like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Restored by the Lord.
Other Readings: Psalm 126; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28
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