Isaiah 40:1-2, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.”
Often human wars drag on and on because both sides are so outraged at all the things done by the other that they refuse to give up. They feel like they need to make them “pay.” The war which Isaiah speaks of in our text was the war which we had with God. It was a war which was entirely one sided in three ways. First, we were the only wrongdoers. Usually in war there is plenty of blame to go around. Not so in our case. God made us perfect, we sinned! God was patient with us, we despised Him! Second, we have no chance of winning. When God comes in judgment then all evildoers will be burnt in judgment. Third, God offers a very different, but still entirely one-sided ending to this war. In grace he poured out his righteous wrath against sin down on Jesus Christ instead of on you and me. This is what Isaiah means when he says “her inquity is pardoned.” Literally he says “Her guilt sacrifice has been accepted.” The sacrifice which was paid for our sin was Jesus Christ the lamb of God. As a result we have received from the Lord double for all our sins. That is to say, the forgiveness He worked so entirely one-sidedly was far more than enough to pay for all the sins of the world. This means there is sure comfort you. You don’t have to wonder whether this or that sin is covered. You don’t have to wonder whether God is still angry with you. “Comfort, my people” says your God!