In part one we looked at Isaiah 42 and its fulfilment in the New Testament, specifically in the gospel of Mathew. We demonstrated that the Holy Spirit which came upon Jesus in the Jordan was in fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy – that Israel would be restored when their Messiah was anointed by the Spirit.
We will now look at a second text which will demonstrate basically the same thing. Israel would recognize that her restoration was taking place when the “Redeemer of Israel” received the Spirit (Isaiah 60:16).
The Spirit of the Lord G od is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn. To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So, they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations… And I will faithfully give them their recompense and make an everlasting covenant with them…. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness…”.
According to Isaiah, the Redeemer of Jacob (Isaiah 60:16) would be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord to proclaim the gospel and bring restoration to Israel. Israel would “rebuild the ancient ruins”, and “raise up the former devastations” when the Redeemer would make with them an everlasting covenant, and clothe them with salvation. Israel’s restoration and liberty through everlasting covenant would be established in the “favorable year of the Lord”.
This text finds it’s fulfilment in the fourth chapter of the gospel of Luke.
Isaiah 61:1-4 – Fulfilled in Luke 4:18-21
And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord… And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Luke records Jesus quoting Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue in Nazareth where he says that Isaiah’s prophecy had been fulfilled that day, in Him. Jesus identifies himself as the Redeemer of Jacob who had been anointed by the Spirit to preach the gospel (the good news of the kingdom) to Israel, and proclaim “release to the captives”. According to Jesus, his anointing by the Spirit was proof that the “favorable year of the Lord” had arrived for Israel – Israel was being restored through the everlasting covenant.
The fact that Jesus was fulfilling Isaiah 61 by receiving the Spirit and preaching the gospel becomes even more significant when we consider the that Isaiah 61 and Isaiah 49 are parallel texts. Both Isaiah 49 and 61 prophecy the “raising up” (restoration) of Israel in the time of the Lord’s “favor”, and “salvation”.
“…. Proclaim the favorable year of the Lord…. They will raise up the former devastations… He has clothed me with garments of salvation…”
“… In a favorable time I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you… To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages.
Notice specifically that the “favorable year” of Isaiah 61:4 parallels the “favorable time” of Isaiah 49:8. Clearly, the favorable time and the day of salvation of Isaiah 49 is the same as the favorable year of the Lord of Isaiah 61, when the Lord would clothe his people with salvation and righteousness through the everlasting covenant.
Therefore, since Isaiah 61 and 49 are parallel texts, this means that Luke 4 is not only the fulfilment of Isaiah 61, it is also the fulfilment of Isaiah 49. But remember from the previous article (part 1) that Isaiah 49 is definitively the final restoration of Israel, when the Servant would “raise up the tribes of Jacob” and be a “light to the nations”, so that salvation would “reach to the end of the earth”.
There should be no mistaking the implications. According to Luke, the anointing of Jesus with the Holy Spirit meant that Israel was being restored in the time of the Lord’s favor – the favorable year of the Lord – when Israel would be clothed in salvation and be called the “planting of the Lord”, so that the Lord would be glorified, and His salvation would reach to the “end of the earth” (extend to all nations).
Up to this point we have demonstrated that the anointing of Jesus by the Holy Spirit signified to Israel that her promised and long awaited Messianic restoration was in fact taking place in the first century through the ministry of Jesus, the Servant and Redeemer of Israel.
Contrary to the popular (and unbiblical) doctrine that Israel’s kingdom restoration which Jesus came to initiate was postponed or that it failed due to Jewish unbelief and rejection, we will show that Israel’s restoration continued to be established and confirmed by his disciples decades after the rejection of Jesus by the Jews. We will demonstrate in the articles to follow, that the Holy Spirit which came upon Jesus to initiate the restoration of Israel was the same Holy Spirit which came upon his disciples in order to continue that restoration.
The fact is, Israel’s Messianic kingdom-restoration was never postponed through the rejection of Jesus by the Jews, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the House of Israel to fulfil the feast of Pentecost was and is the definitive proof of that fact.
Continued in Part 3….