People who are living in shame and self-blame are in need of justice, hope and restoration. The main point of passages such as Isaiah 61 and Luke 4:14-19 is this: Jesus is bringing justice, hope and restoration to the suffering, oppressed, and outcast. Unfortunately, we have over-spiritualized these passages, interpreting them only as a sin debt transaction, robbing us of their true message of complete freedom. We then easily misdiagnose people’s struggles, behaviors and addictions as all coming from the same source—idolatry sins. The suffering person then remains in captivity, and they never experience the hope or freedom that Jesus promises.
If we only consider the gospel in terms of our sin and spiritual life with God, it will never occur to us that our struggle could actually be a symptom of shame and a result not of our own sin, but of sin committed against us. We need to get to the root of the issue and uncover the truth of why we struggle with the unwanted behaviors and addictions we have. That’s the only way to find true freedom.
Indeed, these passages are about bringing truth to the distortions we have received because of the wrong done to us. They are about bringing healing to the wounds we have buried deep within us. What has made you brokenhearted, feeling isolated and rejected? What lies do you believe about yourself, others, and God? Jesus sees the wrongs that have been done against you—and he cares. He does not tell you to get over it, to move on, to hurry up and forgive. No. He cares deeply about you and he takes the time you need to heal. TODAY Jesus offers you justice: “I see the wrong that was done to you and it was not your fault.” TODAY Jesus offers you hope: “I have come that you may have life abundant (on this earth)” (John 10:10). TODAY Jesus offers you restoration: “Know the truth about your past, know the truth about who I AM, know the truth about who I say you are, and the truth WILL set you free” (John 8:32).