A Time for Building

Key Verse: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.”
—Isaiah 60:1

Selected Scriptures:
Isaiah 60:1-3;

THE GRANDEST GIFT THAT the Heavenly Father could have bestowed upon the human family was the giving of his own beloved Son, Jesus Christ. He was a shining light to Israel, as well as the whole human family. The full significance of his light, however, will not be manifested until he reigns in power and great glory with his faithful bride in his future kingdom of truth and righteousness.

Jesus’ presence and earthly ministry was a light which stood in marked contrast to the prevailing conditions of darkness that had befallen mankind because of disobedience to the laws of God. Isaiah describes the condition as one of darkness, but he also points forward to the hope in Jesus and his ministry of redemption and reconciliation. Continuing, he writes: “The darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”—Isa. 60:2,3

The prophet portrays the wonderful work that Jesus was commissioned to do for the world when he writes, “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”—Isa. 61:1-3

Many centuries later Jesus turned to this prophecy when he arrived in his hometown of Nazareth to preach. He applied it as a reference to himself, as well as the work that he was sent to accomplish. “He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias [Isaiah]. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written.” (Luke 4:16,17) He then recited the words of the prophet to his own townspeople. When he had finished reading the passage from the scroll, he rolled it up and handed it back to the attendant in charge. All eyes were on him as he proclaimed to them, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:21) Their response was one of wonderment at the inspiring words that he spoke.

Our Lord’s ministry and sacrifice was a turning point in the plan of God for the reconciliation of the sins of the human family. It was a time for rebuilding. (Isa. 61:4) The ritual of killing sacrificial animals as part of the religious ceremonies of Israel had served merely to illustrate the need for blood to be shed to satisfy Divine justice on behalf of sin. These types were now being replaced with the more meaningful sacrifice of our Lord Jesus.

The real rebuilding process, however, will be accomplished during the future kingdom of righteousness. At that time our Lord, together with his faithful followers, will share in bringing blessings to all the families of the earth. Then the true light will shine brilliantly, and end earth’s weary night of sin and darkness.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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