July 19, 2017
“Repeal and Replace”
1The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me… 3to 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; Isaiah 61:1a, 3a
In the context of today’s headlines, “repeal and replace” may evoke a number of responses: “replace with what?” or “I’ll believe it when I see it.” For some it suggests a broken promise, for others, a threat. We have heard these words often enough to wonder if they are just that—words. Though our Lord did not express His plan for us in these exact words, He did promise to repeal and replace. The question is, “repeal what and replace with what?”
Isaiah’s prophecy cited here is one of many Messianic promises that would begin their fulfillment with the first coming of Christ. In fact, after Jesus read these words in the Nazareth synagogue, He proclaimed that Isaiah had written them about Him. These words promised that Jesus would repeal the ashes of mourning over sin and faint spirit and replace them with a beautiful crown, joy, and praise.
Our Lord is not someone who makes promises, or threats, which He does not intend to keep, or which He is unable to keep. He does not need our vote or even our consent to keep them. Nor does He wait for us to be worthy of His blessing. What a relief that is. We who mourn our sins may have confidence before God, because He has forgiven them fully and freely. He who promised is faithful and He does what He promises. Therefore, let us not doubt, but respond with joy and praise, for even now we wear a crown of victory and will forevermore. Jesus has repealed our sin and guilt and replaced it with grace and salvation. Amazing: a promised kept.