Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God 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.”
It is so much fun to experience something new. Sometimes when you learn new things you can transfer the techniques to other parts of life and other times you can’t.
I have really been enjoying my photography class, but one of the challenges has been learning a program called Photoshop. It is pretty complicated when you dig into all that is available, but I have been thrilled at the few things I have been introduced to. One of the best features for me is that you can take a good picture and make it even better – in fact you can almost make it perfect.
I applied these techniques the other day to an image of our house. The photo was beautiful but it really showed the flaws that were there. So, no problem, I repainted the peeling paint on the front door, removed the weeds from around the porch, brushed away the dead grass that covered the foreground, and added a little extra light to brighten things up. In a matter of minutes I Photoshopped away everything I didn’t like. And it felt so good!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could remove every physical or personality flaw we find in others or ourselves? What if we could remove any unwanted circumstances or fix the results of our bad decisions? It would especially be helpful if we could blot over difficult experiences and lighten up dark days. Unfortunately this program doesn’t work for real life situations. We cannot Photoshop our lives to perfection no matter how hard we try.
But we are not left in complete despair. When Jesus reached the age where God had appointed Him to start His earthly ministry, He had the opportunity to read Scripture in the temple. He stood up in front of many older, learned men and read from Isaiah 61. “The Spirit of the Lord God 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.” At the conclusion of His reading He announced to the listeners, “Today in your presence this Scripture has been fulfilled.” Then He sat down.
God saw that the world was not perfect. It had been corrupted by sin and its results. So He sent Jesus to make things right. The good news of salvation came and was accomplished through the Son of God Who was perfect. He would die and rise again to provide healing to all whose hearts were broken, liberty to all who were held captive, and freedom for those in chains to sin. He wasn’t going to just Photoshop over the situation to make it look right; He was going to provide the way for everything and everyone to be perfect in their standing before God.
For those of us who believe what the Bible says and receive this gift of salvation, God looks at us and no longer sees all the flaws. He sees us through the lens of Jesus’ blood and all the imperfections brought on by sin are gone. He replaces ashes with a garland, mourning with the oil of gladness, and the spirit of fainting with a mantle of praise. We are forever righteous in His sight.
Do you recognize the flaws that sin has left on your life? Jesus, not Photoshop, is the answer for imperfect people like you and me. Now that’s a picture I can get excited about!