This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and announce to her that her time of forced labor is over, her iniquity has been pardoned… (Isaiah 40:1-2)
When God created the world, everything was good. The earth was beautiful and mankind along with it. There was no fear, no death, no pain, no sickness, no decay. God is the God of beauty and life.
When Adam and Eve listened to the voice of Satan and sin entered the world, the beauty became marred. Hints of it remain, sometimes awe-inspiring hints, but corruption and decay fill the earth. Like the one who tempts us to sin, our sin is an enemy and makes us our own worst enemies. God gives beauty and life but the influence of sinful rebellion against him steals, kills, and destroys.
In Genesis 3, God declared a curse against sin. The wound, however, was self-inflicted as we chose to rebel. God could have left us there, condemned rebels; but he chose to give us hope and salvation.
Isaiah 40 promised a day of pardon–a day ultimately found through Jesus on the cross. He became our sin, bore our guilt, took our punishment–a willing sacrifice who stepped into our death that we might have his life.
The Gospel, the good news of what Jesus did, is God’s words of comfort to us. Even if darkness still seems to rule, the Gospel reminds us that the night is almost gone and day is about to dawn. When that light comes, when Jesus returns, it will shine forever. Death will be dead. Tears wiped away. Pain no more.
Beauty and life will infuse creation once more with no hint of darkness.
“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God.
Scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.