Robert Murray McCheyne said famously and wisely: “For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Jesus.” On this last day of 2017, we spent our Sunday considering the person and work of Christ from Isaiah 61:1–3.
This sermon wraps up a three-part series on Isaiah 59–61 and encourages us to look to Christ as we enter the new year. Indeed, whether we are coming off a great 2017 or a horrible 2017, we need to remember the gospel as we enter 2018. And today’s sermon aimed to help us do that.
1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to 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; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
- What have been your chief encouragements and/or questions from Isaiah? How does knowing the background to the coming of Christ help you know, worship, follow Christ?
- Read Isaiah 11:1–2, 42:1, 61:1–3. What is the relationship between these three Spirit-anointed figures? (Cf. Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 10:1)
- Who is the person anointed by the Spirit here? How do we know? Read Luke 4:18–19 and Acts 8:32–40.
- What do we learn about Jesus in this passage? In what ways does Jesus ‘fulfill’ these words (see Luke 4:16–21)? In what ways are we awaiting further fulfillment?
- From Isaiah 61:1–3, what do we learn about the gospel? What promises most encourage you as you reflect on 2017 and look ahead to 2018?
- How will you grow in 2018 in your knowledge Christ?
On the New Year
- Four Christian Principles for Making New Years Resolutions by Burk Parsons
- Keep Technology in Its Proper Place in 2018 by Andy Crouch
- A New Year, A New Bible Reading Plan by John Piper
On Isaiah 61
- 12 Quotes from Peter Gentry’s Book on the Biblical Prophets
- Singing the Four ‘Spirit’ Songs in Isaiah 56–66
- Seeing the Trinity by Re-Reading Isaiah 61
On Robert Murray McCheyne
Here are a few resources from and about Robert Murray McCheyne.
- Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne by Andrew Bonar
- He Kissed the Rose and Felt the Thorn: Living and Dying in the Morning of Life by John Piper
- The Purifying Power of a Delight in Christ by Tony Reinke
- Ten Looks at Christ — an elongated quotation from Robert Murray McCheyne
Soli Deo Gloria, ds
Video by Gunnar Gunnarsson