Text: Luke 1:67-79
After Zacharias’ tongue was loosened, he burst forth with praise and prophecy. We are told he was filled with the Holy Spirit, meaning he was under the Spirit’s control. He was illuminated by the Spirit; he gained new insights into the Word of God that he was already familiar with.
Two of the aspects of prophecy are present in what Zacharias said: an accurate understanding of the Word, and a view of the future. The entire prophecy of Zacharias is composed of only two sentences. The first is a praise to God, and the second is a prophecy of the ministry of Zacharias’ son John. This post will discuss the first sentence (v. 68-75).
First, we see that Zacharias sees the end outworking of God’s promises to be completely certain at their beginning. So he says God has “visited us and accomplished redemption for His people.” The redemption was so certain to him that he declared it complete.
He mentions that God has raised up a “horn of salvation”. The “horn” refers to power and glory made evident. So this salvation was becoming visible as Jesus Christ was being revealed.
Then Zacharias describes how the coming of Christ is the fulfillment of all the prophets. He specifically mentions Abraham, and how this is the fulfillment of the covenant made to Abraham, the covenant that God condescended to confirm to us with an oath.
Zacharias prophesied that the Redeemer would deliver them from their “enemies”. Who are our enemies that Christ delivers us from?
- Our sinful nature. Man’s natural state is sinful. In this state, you are the center of your life and you are driven to seek what is good for you.
- The practice of sin. The more we sin, the more it becomes a habit. As we get in the habit of pleasing ourselves and we do it more and more, it has an ever-greater grip upon us.
- The devil and his hosts. Satan does all he can to hold men under his power. He works by first bringing a temptation, then if we fall into sinning, and sin willfully, we are inviting him to take more and more power over us.
- Fear. Fear is our enemy and is specifically mentioned in this section (v. 74). All men are gripped by some fear – fear of death, fear of other men, and other fears, some irrational.
Christ has come and delivered us from these enemies. He has performed the mercy promise.
The ultimate end of what Christ has done is not to merely make us Christians to get us out of hell and continue to live our same lives. He has created a people to serve Him. That is the reason He has redeemed us, to serve Him in holiness and righteousness (v. 74, 75). We are no longer sinful in nature, but we have been made holy to serve God in holiness. Thus, we can now do what is right before God.
Finally, the prophecy declared that we would serve God without fear. This must have been astounding to the Jews of that time, who were used to striving under the fear of God, always cognizant of their guilt before the Perfect and Holy One. But this prophecy declared that we should serve Him, without fear, in His very presence – and that we should do so “all our days”. What a wonderful promise: dwelling eternally in God’s presence without fear!