God gives beauty for ashes
“...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” (Is. 61:3 NIV)
In Old Testament biblical times people sat in ashes or covered themselves with ashes to express mourning or loss, such as grief over a distressing situation (2 Sam 13:19), grief over a national disaster (Esther 4:1), or grief associated with repentance from one's own sin (Jonah 3:5-7). The promise of "beauty for ashes" is a promise to God's people that He planned to deliver them from their plight and to ultimately send them the Messiah.
God’s promise of redemption
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Jesus is God’s answer to His promise of giving “beauty for ashes”
Today, we turn to Jesus for encouragement and hope when facing difficult circumstances. Jesus said...
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21 NIV)