“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1–2, NASB95)
I have mentioned before that the book of Isaiah is often called the Bible within the Bible. This verse is one of the reasons that supports that argument. The 40th chapter of Isaiah would have to equate to the first book of the New Testament because there are 39 books of the Old Testament. One would expect to hear a theme of Good News, and that is exactly what Isaiah 40 delivers. Isaiah begins this chapter with God declaring “comfort” not judgment upon His people. The Lord says, “Speak kindly to Jerusalem”…tell her that her “warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed.” This is the message that the people of Israel longed to hear–that their time of suffering has ended and “comfort” was on its way.
What weighs you down today? Is it a guilty conscience? Is it a lifestyle that is contrary to the will of God? Is it physical pain and suffering brought on because we live in a broken and sinful world? Is it the hurt and pain of others that weighs you down today? Read the verses above one more time. These verses are God’s declaration, not Isaiah’s. God is declaring that the time of comfort and peace has come. God sent Jesus into the world so that He could bring us comfort and peace. Jesus bore the brokenness and sin of the world and our personal lives on the cross. He paid the entire price so that we might be free. Go to Jesus and get the comfort that God promises. Don’t hold onto something that doesn’t exist anymore. Jesus bore it and it is finished in God’s sight.
Let’s stand at the foot of the cross today and rest in the comfort, peace, hope and joy that Jesus offers there.