‘to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God,’ Isaiah 61:2a
In the early days of Jesus’ work here on earth, there was a lot of goodwill towards Him: ‘…and everyone praised Him’ (:15). When He came in Nazareth where He had been brought up, on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue where the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. ‘He found the place where it is written…’ How literally this prophecy was fulfilled in the life of the One Who read it at that moment. Therefore He said, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ However, not the whole prophesy was fulfilled. Jesus rolled up the scroll directly after the words ‘the year of the Lord’s favor’. Yet, Isaiah did not finish there. He spoke about the year of the Lord’s favor, but also about the day of vengeance of our God.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Golgota has split many prophecies in half. That is something the prophets themselves could not yet see when they prophesied. Between the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the ‘day of the Lord’ as Joel called it, or between ‘the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God’ as the prophet Isaiah called it, in this timespan we have the covenant of mercy. This is a period of grace in which God calls on the whole world to repent. The covenant of mercy - between the first and the second coming of Jesus on earth - is almost finished.
The Jews at the Wailing Wall cry out for the coming of their Messiah, but how many Christians are still looking forward to the return of their Lord? If we keep our eyes shut for the signs of the times, the many things the world has to offer us will inevitably enchant us, so that no genuine desire for His coming will remain.