Hope for the Hopless: Zechariah
a man so that little video was taken straight out of scripture if you turn the Luke chapter 1 beginning the first one you find that story that same story that's the this story that we want to just go over today to find Hope and what seems to be hopeless circumstances certainly God specialty and that he receives Glory and Honor as we look to him as we fix our eyes upon him as we looked at him to rescue a Sandra Dimas from this dark place that we find ourselves in so if you have your Bibles we're going to begin we're just going to do a quick I don't have time to go through all the differences of Luke chapter 1 so if we're just going to do a quick survey of them and try to get the story so most of the story of Zechariah was just played for you so I'll try to avoid repeating what the video played if you'll look there in scripture you'll see that it was pretty much word for word as far as what scripture has a given to us revealed to us as far as zechariah's encounter with Gabriel they're talking about that he would send John the Baptist the 4Runner The promised Elijah that would come to prepare the way for the Messiah that would come. Luke chapter one is speaking in verse 1 and it's just see the story from scripture itself. First one the word of the Lord says this many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled Among Us just as the original eyewitnesses service to the world handed down to the hunted them down to us. So it also seemed to me since I have carefully investigated everything from the first visit very first to write to you in orderly in orderly sequence sequence most honorable Theophilus so that you may know of the certainty of the things which have been instructed. So, this is Luke riding in and giving his gospel account his first-hand account of of what in here in Luke chapter 1 and 2 the birth of our savior the birth of the Messiah and so he's right into the office this time. I want to record these things and we know Luke was very peculiar with the doctor and she was very peculiar and and Judicious about what he wrote down and how he wrote it down and he he did it in a scholarly since he goes on him verse 5 in the days of King Herod of Judea. There was a free stuff of a biologist division named of Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Erin and her name was Elizabeth. Both the righteous in God's sight Living Without Blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive and both of them were well along in years. When is division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God so the different tribes of the different priest of the Levites are the different divisions of the of the Levites. They were they were split up according to God's word found in the Old Testament and they each took turns their division six terms doing Ministry ministration in the temple the Old Testament Temple and so just so happen to be Zacharias division to the third opportunity to minister in the temple And he as we will see how do a lot has happened to that. He was that he was chosen by lot according to the custom of the priesthood to enter the saints were the lord of the burn incense and so he was chosen to this very special significance thing to burn incense upon the altar inside the temple and he was chosen to do that and the scholars that I read they talked about that says there was just typically a one and one time. Trinity for a priest to be able to do this certain act that there was enough priests that it was using the only one time they had the opportunity so he drew the lot he was able to perform this Duty as a Godly priest in the Old Testament So he's just going about doing this very special work. Imagine right? He's a he's a real person. He he gets chosen. I'm sure he's excited that goes into the temple little did he know what it is about to experience that day. Little did he know?
After 400 years as the narrator that video says there was a intertestamental time between Old and New Testament where God was ultimately silence. and we find here we see hear God breaking back into human history and and and starting the the beginning of what is his always been this planet does salvation found through Jesus and in the his accomplished work how exciting this is at Zechariah has an opportunity to play a role in this He goes on Amherst and or at that hour of incense the whole assembly of the people were praying or what's playing outside, but the angel said to him and so that that's where that he's acting and then we find that story that we found in the video. And so I don't want to repeat that and so Gabriel appears to Zacharias and says he you were going to be giving a baby and his name is going to be gone minutes, read John the Baptist's the promised Elijah that the Old Testament prophets and Malachi to talk about the Elijah would come And prepare the way and John the Baptist was this this promise being fulfilled. So God breaks in the Zacharias. Just doing his normal duties. He's or he's just doing a special op unique opportunity of doing the altar of incense and all those things but all of a sudden an angel appears to him. And we saw in the video. How shocking I could be to the could you imagine how shocking that could be to the human system? But Gabriel says you will be giving us an in and we see a little bit of Doubt right or our faith are our help comes from the faith or belief that in spite of all that's going on and it's part of the Earthly circumstances are hope stems from the faith that God is faithful and his promises and so he expresses a little bit of double until Gabriel says I am Gabriel. I stand in the very presence of God. It will be done, but you will be silenced until the baby's born. Let me find inverse 13, but the angel said to him do not be afraid Zacharias because your prayer has been heard your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and he will name him John and I will be joining the life for you. Imagine all those years of. Desiring to have a child and now it's going to happen and how exciting that is for that couple but how exciting it is for us because God is is laying out he's beginning this the first appearance the first Advent of our Lord Jesus. The reason why we should celebrate Christmas that Jesus has come. Is there will be joy in the life for you and it's joined the light for us as well as we contemplate what God has done through human history to save us and many Will Rejoice at his birth and we Rejoice even now some two thousand years later that this is has happened and we are benefactors of it to jump the first 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord and He will never drink wine or beer. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother's womb. You'll be filled with the spirit of God. I'm still in his mother's womb. Healthy drink wine or beer most with would say that he was going to be a Nazarite a Nazarite with knots was charged not to defile themselves by drinking alcoholic beverages. It's not explicit in that but that's what most would agree about and he's gone versus 16. He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord Our God Amanda me see that being played out, right? He goes and prepares the way by calling people to repentance the baptism of repentance for the Forgiveness of sins repentance means a change of mind to Proclaim. You must turn from your wickedness. You must call BBQ turn to the Lord into what he has for us through the Messiah. He's he's preparing the way in and gave us as he will turn many of the children visit to the Lord their God and we see that being played out in the New Testament passages.
God prophets of often called his God's people back to God. And John the Baptist was the the last of the Old Testament prophets calling his people back to God and but in a unique way, and the people back to God through the fire. That was to come. How special it is 4:17 and he will go before him in the in the spirit and the power of Elijah. There's that promise will Testament or the promise of the Old Testament fulfilled of the Allies would come to turn the hearts of fathers to the children in the distal beat into the understanding of of the righteousness to make ready for the Lord and prepared people.
Ristorante old now listen, you will become silent and even able to speak until the days these days these things take place because you did not believe my words which will be filled in their proper time. And so we see him not being able to speak. Until what Gabriel has said is fulfilled. First 23 and when the days of his ministry were completed he went back home. So this occurred and Jack restaurant back home and he he remain silent and after these days his wife Elizabeth conceived today man God he who has promised is faithful after these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for 5 months. She said this the Lord has done this for me. Is look with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people. And so we see here as we read between the lines. It's not only a source of great sorrow for Zechariah and Elizabeth that they were bearing, but it was also a source of shame in that culture is that the inability to reproduce brought shame upon those people and so Elizabeth takes this time to turn this Worship in their Thanksgiving back to God the Lord has done this for me.
And then we see. as the story goes on that John the Baptist is
born and Zacharias
is able to speak they were going to name the child after Zacharias and Elizabeth said know his name shall be John and then all the sudden Zacharias able to speak all these months later. His name will be John. Let me come to Luke 1:67 through 79 and this is called the Benedictus. This is the blessedness. This is a this is a a song that is Luke record Zacharias of prophetically preaching and it's just beautiful and this and this this passage of scripture Church 67 through 79 is just as beautiful a prophetic word that that was given by by zacarias about what occurred to them through John the Baptist being born And how is special and unique and important John the Baptist wasn't fulfilling God's promises just as he had laid out and in the Old Testament.
And so I hope you see that did that in this context? It's it's it's referring to these in this Benedictus is what it's called the song. This is the second of four songs that Loop record for us. in this song we see this hope for God's people in the Old Testament context but it's we have at least 16 Old Testament parallels that we find 16 different Passages at this this prophetic utterance is is in parallel with and so that's the context in which Zacharias is preaching us but for us today in 2020 The application for us is great. This Benedictus these these these prophetic word these words that are spoken by zacarias through the power of the spirits. Are causing a source of great joy for us today? Because we engage in the same benefit. That the Old Testament people in our context were to game through the coming Messiah. We have the benefit of looking back on you Ministry and seeing that the Benedictus what zechariah's prophecy is for us. It is our Reason for Hope.
Hope for the Hopeless the true reason to celebrate Christmas is that Jesus has come. And John the Baptist plays an important role in preparing the way the story of Zacharias someone his wife and he and his wife were enduring a shame and sorrow because of their barrenness in and praying to God that he would he would he would allow them to Bear children heat answers the prayers and not only they benefit from this to answer prayer, but the entirety of humanity God uses this to begin. the coming Advent of Jesus
467 Zacharias the Benedictus the song here for us. Then his father Zakaria was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied blessed is the Lord. The god of Israel because he has visited and provided Redemption for his people and say yes in the context. It's from the Old Testament parallels of passage of the Old Testament. But ultimately our application today is that this is our Redemption that through John the Baptist Baptist providing being that the the Elijah the Forerunner Through him and then the coming of Jesus the Messiah through the Virgin birth and and all those things these this is God laying out our Redemption. So this is just as much for us and until hopefully this morning churches. We as we look in these passages of scripture. This would be an opportunity for us to to pray back this these beautiful words that are given to us to our God who who has redeemed us who have saved us has been made a way for us through the Messiah.
What great passages of scripture to just meditate on these next few weeks as we prepare our hearts for what truly is important in this season? And that isn't Jesus has come Jesus was born. Our traitor. God was was born. He became flesh.
This is our Redemption. Blessed is the Lord the god of Israel because he has visited in provided Redemption for his people. He has raised up a horn of Salvation. This is our Salvation through the Messiah. We have salvation. We can roll these word back up to God as a means and which we can praise him for his goodness and his love. He has raised up a horn of Salvation. Who is this Horn of Salvation? It is the messiah. it is for Christ he is our salvation.
It has been fulfilled. The Old Testament Prophecies of the Horn of Salvation that would come have been fulfilled in and it for us in the house of his servant David Wright. The davidic Covenant was the promise that God would use King David's lineage through the Messiah be born through him and that's exactly what has happened. Luke recordes the lineage and Matthew record the lineage of the Messiah and it all comes through David. He has fulfilled his promises and in that we have our Salvation. It's not just for the Jews it is for all who will believe and receive.
He is our Redemption. He's our salvation we go on a he's number seven just as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets in ancient times. All right, we've been going in Galatians and we've seen how it's always been God's plan to save his people through the Messiah. I'm in Route 71. It's not only our Redemption our salvation with this is also our inheritance this inheritance that's been given to us by Grace earned it but it's through the Messiah. And dwelling spirit that all believers in the New Testament era now have the Spirit dwelling inside of them and it is our Earnest. It is our down payment on the internal inheritance that we have been given we have great. Hope in the things that are the common spider what's going on in this world because of what Christ has done. We have an inheritance not based on their own Merit not based on how righteous we can be the baseball in what Christ has done. He is our Redemption our Salvation aren't harriton salvation from our enemies in from the land of those who hate us.
He has dealt mercifully with our ancestors and redeemed His Holy Covenant.
He's redeemed is Holy Covenant member that Covenant that we've been talking about the past few weeks. the Covenant of Promise given to Abraham
Zacharias prophetically says God has fulfilled the promise to Abraham to Jesus the O that he swore to Our Father Abraham number 73. And his seed in the all the Gentiles that will believe because of what Jesus has done in and has broken down the walls of segregation of Jews vs. Gentiles all who will believe every tribe nation and tongue. It is our inheritance as well.
And this is great stuff to be focused on during the season to get her eyes on the things above the hope that is to come through our God has done. We have a Great Dane heritance. That we Longley wait for and we seen verse 7 through our justification by faith were Justified we have gone over this several times to be declared righteous in the eyes of a holy God. He has provided the means and it's not through our own righteousness or keeping the lot is by faith. If Paula so eloquently has been demonstrating to us in the book of Galatians over 73 sacrifices espanol that he swore to Our Father who he was given he has given us the privilege. Since we have been rescued from the hand of our enemies, we've been in the New Testament context we have been rescued from the stand that has bound us has kept a separate it for my God through the Messiah. We've been rescued and redeemed from that and then that because we're justified in her position. We Sanctified in the righteousness of Christ. We now have the freedom to serve him without fear. We can be holy and seek Holiness and godliness but not out of fear, but because of love to reflect his love back to him that he is given to us. We no longer under the bondage of the law or the sand that is represented in in Breaking the Law of God.
We have this beautiful opportunity to serve a God that you would say here to serve him without fear. in holiness And righteousness in his presence. all our days
Yes. There's many things going on in this world these days. If you are in Christ this morning. This is who you truly are. This is what it means to be in Christ. That we can pursue God we can serve him without fear in Holiness and righteousness because of her position that Christ has given us in him. And we truly can do it in his presence all of our days. Because the Holy Spirit as well as the heart of every believer. We are in his presence. We are now the temple was after I was in the temple to the temple made with hands and all pointing to the temple that that would raise its himself back up in 3 days later and scripture to the news. The New Testament were going to say that all believers are now the temple of God. We we can worship God in spirit and in truth we can present our bodies as living sacrifices to our God and we can pursue him in Holiness and righteousness and his presence and empowering us all the days all of our days. Spider what's going on? a great blessing
I'm an ultimately our justification by faith. And then as we go on we'll see it is also our message to take to the world.
76 and you child will be called a prophet. So he's now switching to Zechariah season alphabetically speaking about John the Baptist. He will be called a prophet of the most high you would go before the Lord to prepare his ways. To give his people knowledge of salvation.
See what? Zechariah through the the saying through the power of the spirit. John is going to be called not just to be a figure but to carry out certain responsibilities and he was the Forerunner of Christ until he was to do these things. And so this is what we're trying to take application from this system the same message of Salvation that that was given to the to John the coming Messiah is now our message to the world.
He prepared the way Jesus is coming. Now. He's left us to be his ambassadors to a world that desperately needs to hear about Jesus. Is Armistice to take just as it was met John's message to take? We prophetically claim proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We Proclaim it to every person
to give his people knowledge of salvation. Do the Forgiveness of their sins? What is the message? Did Zechariah prophetically said John would do it is the same message that we now as his ambassadors are typically aim to the world. To give people knowledge of Salvation through Jesus. Do the Forgiveness of their sins by placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ Alone? And look at this how ends up this passage of scripture because of our God's merciful compassion.
Our God is merciful and compassionate. Merciful means he's withhold what we truly deserve.
He's made a way because he is merciful. All those who will believe and receive Jesus a compass work. God will forever with whole what you truly deserve and what you deserve through your sin because he's placed that punishment on Jesus. You can be merciful and compassionate to us from what Jesus has done. Our God is merciful and compassionate that the dawn from the high will visit us. What a great. minus Holy Scripture there the dawn from on high will visit us ever been out in the wilderness. wet and cold at night you just can't wait for that sun. That's unkind come up can't come up quick enough. Family, we went rafting white water rafting this camping, which is loaded all of our gear into into rafting headed down the Snake River and stayed overnight. We had a blast and we were completely unprepared for the coming coldness that came up on our camped through the night terror and I were freezing shivering. And all the sudden the daylight broke we saw the sun appear on the far Canyon and if it's working its way down. We just couldn't wait for that sunlight to hit us. We would move closer to the to the to the lights to be able to encounter. That light that warms quicker. And then the light the warmth that came from that light hit us.
What a great image it is for us to see the darkness. I'm evil that pervades this world. In darkness is coldness in. God has made away his promise that the dawn will videos visit us from an eye the Sun.
the light that he brings to this Dark World
It is a message that we need to take to the loved ones around us to our neighbors to our co-workers. For he is the light of the world.
He says the dawn will break to shine on those who live in darkness for 79.
and the shadow of death
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
How blessed we are.
to be in
relationship with our God through with Jesus has done his shine into our hearts. But he's not done. The narrator said God has just begun, right? This world desperately needs to hear of this light that Jesus brings that will shine into the darkness. And the shadow of death that sounds awfully familiar to write Psalm 23. Yea though. I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil. For thou art with me? The rod and thy staff they comfort me.
The dawn has come his name is Jesus.
John speaks of this and is opening introduction of John chapter 1 and hopefully this passage of scripture in Luke 1 provides more Color for us for what John is proclaiming here? He proclaimed Jesus to be the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and it in verse 4 and John chapter 1 it says this in him was life.
And the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness if there's light in the darkness, there's no longer Darkness. The light shines in the darkness and yet the darkness did not overcome it. That is our Messiah. That is Jesus.
Where's 6 there was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light so that all might believe through him.
It is our message to Carrie just as it was John's we are to testify about the lights to all men so that all might believe through him.
And he was not the lights John wasn't but he came to testify about the light. the True Light it gives light to everyone. Was coming into the world. That is the true reason we should celebrate Christmas the birth of Jesus who is the true light that gives light to everyone in this world.
He was in the world in the world was created through him Creator God In the Flesh. He was in the world. The world was created through him and yet the world did not recognize him.
He came to his own. Jewish people in his own people did not receive him but to all who did receive him who did receive him and believe upon his his sacrificial work. He gave them the right to be the children of God to those who believe in his name. That is the gospel message. That is the message that God has charged us to give to the world around us. That is the message that we should dwell on and fix our eyes on and in the promise is given to us with Mossad that our hope of the coming eternity in eternal life. That is the common in spite of what's going on around us. He who promised is faithful. What a beautiful message. He's giving us what a beautiful story of hope. He's given us through those who what receive him unbelievable on his name you were born not of natural descent. You can't it wasn't through this being born again is not the means in which we can do through natural descendants of a of a certain genealogic align or of the will of The Flash is not something that we can just wheel in our own mind and do enough good works to do or the will of man same thing group of men doing it. We're born again through God We're born out of Nacho to sin or the will of the flesh or the will of man, but of God.
He who promised is faithful we have much reason. to have hope and to give hope to the Hopeless you definitely need to hear this message. So here we have. Just a short summary. You can go back and replay this later if you'd like to write this down. of this Benedictus this beautiful prophetic passage of scripture that remind us of our Redemption. our salvation our inheritance our justification it also gives us the responsibility of the charge to take our message to the world. Why because the dawn has broken? the darkness Jesus has come to seek and to save those who are lost we have much to have hope in church. I pray this would be an opportunity for us to season did really well. Maybe just pray back vs. 67 through 79. Can I challenge you to do that? Play that back to God. has a prayer that you