Comfort, comfort My people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. Isaiah 40:1-2
What if you believed that this Christmas you would receive “double for all your sins.” Would you find that comforting? You might say, “That depends … double what?” If it were double the punishment, then you would surely not take comfort. However, as God proclaims the coming of the Savior of the world through the words of Isaiah, He brings comfort indeed.
God instructs the prophet Isaiah to give a threefold message of double comfort: First, he is to comfort God’s people that their “hard service had been completed.” Second, their “sin has been paid for,” as Christ would pay for the sins of all people. Finally, God’s people hear about a double reward from the Lord’s hand. This reward doesn’t come because we or anyone else deserves it or because God feels sorry for any pain that’s been inflicted. No, in spite of our sinfulness and the punishment w deserve, Christ Jesus has made sure that we receive a double reward of God’s grace, much like Job received (compare Job 42:12 with Job 1:3).
Have you found this comfort?
Prayer: Thank you Lord, Jesus, for the righteous healing that You bring through the gift of Your forgiveness that takes away the burdens of our sin. Amen.
© 2006 Lutheran Hour Ministries
These devotions have been written by Rev. Paul and Kaye Wolff. Rev. Paul Wolff is a 1996 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has served as a pastor in the Detroit area for 10 years. He and co-author wife, Kaye, live in Southfield, Michigan.
Kaye Dumas Wolff is Chairperson of the Black Ministry Church Planting Task Force and a Mission Affiliate of LCMS World Missions where she serves as a training facilitator for laity in evangelism and mission work. Kaye serves on the Advisory Council of the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and she is a presenter for Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Equipping to Share Workshop.
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