Summary: What did Jesus come to earth?
Zechariah and Elizabeth had no children and were well beyond child-bearing age. But the Bible tells us that once, when Zechariah was taking his turn as part of the priestly tribe of Levi, serving in the temple, that the angel Gabriel appeared and told him they he and
Elizabeth would have a son who would be named John (John the Baptist). When Zechariah expressed doubts about this coming to pass, the angels told him he would be struck mute until the day that this came to pass.
When they named their child “John,” the Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah and he was once again able to speak. He was moved to prophecy about the Messiah who was to come. In Zechariah’s song, we learn something about the purpose of Christ’s coming. Let’s see what we can learn from Zechariah’s prophecy about the purpose of Christ’s coming (focusing on the four “to’s” in vs. 72-75).
1. Christ came to show God’s mercy – v. 72a
Although we are deserving of wrath, through Christ, we have been shown mercy. Jesus gave up His place to take ours.
One year, when a government surplus commodity program was being phased out, a man went early to the last distribution to
secure a place in line before the food ran out.
A few hours later, he was near the door where the cheese, butter, dry milk and peanut butter were being handed out. He saw a friend walking by and called him by name. He knew the man.
Neither his wife not he had any work for some time. They had four children. The man confirmed that his prospects were poor.
The man in line knew the food would run our soon, but he told the unemployed family man to take his place in line. The poor man did so and the other man went to the end of the line. Within a short time, the distribution ended and the one who gave up his place had also given up his food.
This is like what Jesus did for us. He drew us into His place of favor and blessing, while taking upon Himself all the consequences of our sin and failure.
Through His mercy (our not receiving what we deserve) He has bestowed on us His grace (our receiving what we don’t deserve).
“You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. You know that he gave up his heavenly riches for you. He gave up everything so that you could be richly blessed.” - 2 Corinthians 8:9 (Easy to Read)
2. Christ came to fulfill God’s promises – vs. 72b-73
God never forgets His promises.
“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” - Numbers 23:19 (NLT)
Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promises He had made to in the Old Testament.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” - Matthew 5:17 (NIV)
“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.” - 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NLT)