to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness 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.
Notice the characteristics of his earthly mission. Notice the categories of people who are singled out:
The PoorThese were his target audience. Certainly he gave some consideration to the self-righteous but that was secondary to his main mission as he said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Lk 5:31,32 There's virtue in being brokenhearted, mourning and grieving over sin, but not in a worldly sense. "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." 2Cor 7:10 The good news is of little value to those who reckoned themselves healthy and wealthy. For such people are often deceived about their circumstances. Yet don't all have a common destiny? Don't all die? Won't all be held accountable for what they have done? Jesus even warned some Christians saying, "You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Rev 3:17 God is gracious to those who humble themselves.
All who Mourn and those who grieve in Zion
But while one must bow in humility to enter through the gate, God does not leave us in such a state but lifts our head and heart to rejoice in freedom we have in Christ Jesus. Freedom from death; Freedom from sin; and Freedom to enter into His presence blameless with great joy.