“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to (them), and proclaim to (them) that (their) hard service has been completed, that (their) sin has been paid for, that (they) have received from the Lord’s hand double for all (their) sins.” ~ Isaiah 40:1-2
If you’re a person who says such things as, “The Old Testament was meant for then and doesn’t apply to today,” I submit that no one has helped you to more completely understand God’s heart.
The words quoted above, which God spoke through Isaiah regarding salvation were targeted to the Hebrew tribes. We can, however, change the people groups and names in this section of scripture using pronouns (indicated by the parentheses) and put on display the future that God has in mind for anyone, anywhere, at any time.
We can do that because God is immutable—unchanging. So when He says something, the meaning doesn’t change simply because we only turn to the pages of the New Testament to read about Jesus and a New Covenant.
God’s plan has always been to redeem people from sin. Isn’t that a comfort to you? It is to me.
What we may have formerly chosen to see when we read the Bible or hear when we listened to a sermon might be changed when we realize God always meant to send Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) That’s what an angel said to Joseph, telling him about the Son that was coming: “that (their) sin has been paid for.”
The Old Testament speaks to New Testament people—you and I, here and now—because, simply put, if the words come from God, those words will always translate to the context of His eternal plan for us.
We’ll better understand that when we have “eyes to see and ears to hear.”
“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)