“To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

Isaiah 61:3
Isaiah 61 in my Bible is titled, “The Year of the Lord’s Favor.” Isaiah declares the Lord has anointed him to preach good news, to comfort all who mourn, and offer the oil of gladness. It is a promise of restoration. In Scripture, oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and His power for a renewed life. 

Luke records that Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth and read from the scroll of Isaiah on the Sabbath. When He finished reading, He rolled up the scroll and declared that this was fulfilled in their hearing (4:18-21). Jesus came to fulfill the Law, to seek and save the lost. 

Jesus’ brother James instructs that those who are sick should call for the elders of the church to pray and anoint them with oil in Jesus’ name. Some of you, like me, may have experienced this before. I love to think of how olive oil applied to the sheep’s nose was used to keep flies off, and our Shepherd anoints our head with oil, too. It’s His Spirit poured out on us. In doing so, He sets us apart, bringing us safety in danger, courage in Him, and joy in life. 

Scripture Focus

Isaiah 61


“Holy Spirit, with joy divine/ Cheer this saddened heart of mine/ Bid my many woes depart/ Heal my wounded, bleeding heart.” (Andrew Reed, 1787-1862)

Bible In A Year

  • Genesis 43-44
  • Psalm 22
  • Mark 2

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