At age thirty, after forty days of fasting, Christ returned to Galilee and preached His first message at a small synagogue in Nazareth, His hometown. Christ selected and read a passage from the prophet Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
The passage in Isaiah reads:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” (Isa. 61:1-2)
Note that in Luke, Christ purposely closed the scroll and read only the first part of Isaiah 61:2: “. . . to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” He did not read the second half: “. . . and the day of vengeance of our God.” The day of vengeance is the time of the future Great Tribulation (see Matt. 24:21), in which the vengeance, or wrath of God, will be poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth (see Isa. 13:9, 13). Christ appeared to mankind as the Lamb to declare the acceptable year of the Lord, and not as the Lion of Judah to introduce divine judgment upon sinners.
This term “acceptable year of the Lord” is identified as the year of release, or the time of Jubilee. Christ was healing the brokenhearted, opening the eyes of the blind, and loosing the spiritual captives from their prisons. By saying that He was fulfilling this prophecy, Christ was announcing that He is the Jubilee!
Again, this season of release occurred every fiftieth year and was a shadow of things to come. Christ came to deliver humanity, and He brings a release from sin, death, and disease. The Jubilee is no longer a fifty-year cycle, but a Person, Jesus Christ the Redeemer!