Day 19 – Salvation From Our Enemies
On: November 19, 2014   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

“John’s father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us – to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit ; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.” [Luke 1:67-80]

With the benefit of historical hindsight we can see that Zechariah’s perception of what God was initiating, through his new born son, was limited to the release of His people from their oppressors, after centuries of earthly occupation and silence from Heaven. The fact that John would be a voice in the wilderness was a picture of where he had to meet with the people, for they were spiritually and nationalistically in the wilderness. So, this was indeed good news for ancient Israel.

But, we can see the true glory of what God had embarked on peeking over the dawn horizon. “The rising sun (Son, surely) will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness.” Zechariah, of course, was echoing Isaiah’s immortal words: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2) And what did Isaiah see next? “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Yes, this was the passage Zechariah had in mind. I wonder if Zechariah thought that the son referred to was his son? He’d have been wrong, for we know it was Jesus, the One who would bring light, not just to Israel, but to all mankind.

This is magnificent; delicious even. Flagged through a prophet centuries before, announced through a priest in a Middle Eastern village, heralded by an odd guy who lived in the wilderness. And the news? Salvation has come. Forgiveness is available. Wholeness and restoration can be received and enjoyed. A new Kingdom inaugurated.

But, I get ahead of myself! The scene is set for the beginning of the most glorious life in history. One that would change history itself.

The rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness

Prayer:

As I ponder the coming of Jesus, the sheer enormity of it, a wide grin wells up inside me and threatens to burst onto my face. It’s like falling in love! You can barely keep it in. Thank you, Father God, for Your brilliant plan that sent Jesus to Earth.

[Sitting, squashed, in a train at Elephant & Castle station on a Thursday morning, I can hardly contain myself as I write. If only my fellow commuters knew the excitement and joy flowing through their fellow passenger!]

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