“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 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.” (Isaiah 40:1-2)

The enmity is over. The picture is a military one: ‘Cry to her that her warfare is ended.’ As God comes near, his hands are not rolled into fists. They are open, arms extended to you in an offer of warm embrace. Our sin has created enmity with God. As Paul would say, we ‘were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God …’ (Eph. 2:3b-4a) … The enmity is over–be at peace!

The guilt is gone. The picture is a judicial one: ‘that her iniquity is pardoned’ (40:2). God’s countenance toward you is not condemnatory. God wears a smile as he looks upon you … The guilt is gone–be at peace!

The payment is complete. The picture is a commercial one: ‘that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins’ (40:2). … The picture here is of a lavish grace. A simple correspondence of the sacrifice to the sin would have been sufficient to set our hearts free. And Christ did indeed offer just what was needed for our sins. Yet the perfect sacrifice of the God-man Jesus Christ is not only sufficient, but abundantly sufficient for our debt … The payment is complete–be at peace!” (Pathways to Peace, pp.73-76).