Bringing salvation to all this Christmas season
By Pastor Chris Costrini
Venango Community Church
The birth of John the Baptist marks a significant event in history. We know this by the number of significant events that occur around it. Not many of us have our birth announced by an angel. Not too many of us are destined to fulfill prophecy as John did.
We might rejoice at the birth of our children, but rarely does it happen that God’s Spirit falls on us, so that we prophesy in God’s name.
All these things happen with John, and his father’s words set the stage for not only John’s work, but also for the Messiah, the one we are preparing for this season.
Zechariah, prompted by the Spirit, speaks primarily of God’s work of redemption. His words would have reminded those listening of God’s deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt and captivity in Babylon.
In the same way Zechariah anticipates a salvation from God brought by a “horn of salvation” coming from the “house of David” (Luke 1:69 ESV).
The anticipated descendant of the great king David was coming to bring salvation. Most in that day expected that this coming king would bring salvation from Rome in the same way that God had freed Israel from her enemies in the past.
But Zechariah’s Messiah brings a salvation “in the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:77 ESV). While Israel was worried about bondage to Rome, God was thinking of our bondage to sin.
They thought of political freedom; God about spiritual freedom. Israel worried about temporal salvation; God’s concern was eternal salvation.
The situation is often the same with us. We get very worried about the things of this world, and push aside any consideration of eternal things. God puts the eternal at the highest priority.
God has “visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1: 68 ESV) in the form of his Son. Zechariah concludes his prophecy by comparing His coming to the sun rising at the end of a dark night, reminding us of the prophecy in Isaiah 9.
Christ, the light of the world is come, bringing redemption, forgiveness, light, and salvation to all who will receive them.