Summary: Zacharias' Prophetical song is very rich in spiritual enlightenment. we are concentrating on important ones in this sermon. Read further to know the beauties of the Messianic Kingdom.
Text: Luke 1:67-80
Theme: Dawn from High
I greet you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Prophetical Song of Zacharias has many facets of truth about the Messianic kingdom. But here I would like to touch three things:
Life in Darkness
Shadow of Death, and
Dawn from High
A. Life in Darkness. (Luke 1:7).
This prophetical song of Zachariah was the reflection of the long-awaited community’s heart feelings and religious sentiments. The Jewish community waited for more than 400 years of the dark period, they were living in great darkness, and in the shadow of death. Protestants call this period, an intertestamental period; whereas Catholics and Orthodox call it a deuterocanonical period. Traditionally, it considered covering roughly four hundred years, spanning the ministry of Malachi (c. 420 BC) to the appearance of John the Baptist in the early 1st century AD. It is roughly contiguous with the Second Temple period (516 BC-70 AD).
It is also known as Four Hundred Silent Years by Protestant Christian theologians. Because, it was a span, in which no new prophets emerged or raised, and God revealed nothing new to his people. So, I see it as a period of darkness.
We read in Micah 3:6, ‘therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The Sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them.’(NIV).
The kingdoms of Israel and Judah toppled, their kings became slaves, and their citizens scattered all over the world. The nation which was chosen by God, beloved children, and the heritage of Abraham who was a friend of God. Day after day they were looking for Messiah, even before that they were longing to see the Prophet Elijah returning to them(Malachi 4:5) and the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings (Malachi 4:1-2). That will make people go out and leap with joy like calves released from the stall (Malachi 4:2 b.).
The Israelites were so upset with the Kings of the Babylonians, and the Greeks. They compared themselves with celestial beings and claimed all sorts of glory. To some extent, they claimed that they were the avatars of gods and goddesses. The people of Israel lived with great despondency and looked for the Messiah to come as prophesied by the former and latter prophets of the Bible.
Nature, science, philosophy, could not define and clear life after death. Whereas Christ through his teaching and promises vividly explained the difference between the land of light, the land of darkness, and the land of death. Those who live in Christ need not panic about the unseen land and darkness. The Destiney is in the hands of God according to our present conduct. At this juncture, Angel Gabriel appeared to Zachariah and told him the Good news of the birth of John the Baptist who will be having the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:16-17).
The darkness refers to blindness in life (Deuteronomy 28:29), the wicked has the path of dark and slippery, the angel of the Lord pursuing them to destroy them (Psalm 35:6), They know nothing, and they walk in darkness (Psalm 82:5), the way of the wicked is like deep darkness, they are unaware of their obstacles and no hope is set for them (Proverbs 4:19). Prophet Isaiah says that never look for light, but all is darkness; look for brightness but we walk in deep shadows (Isaiah 59:9). No doubt their ways are slippery and disaster (Jeremiah 23:12).
The sun has set in one evening during the days of Abraham, the Lord made a covenant with him. The Abrahamic covenant began with Darkness, he was foretold all that will happen to his posterity and later generations. We may be worried about our Children and Grand Children what would happen to them at various stages and occasions. The sacrifice of Christ and our prayers bring an answer to all our unsettled problems and issues (Genesis 15:12, 17). God promised to Abraham you will be a blessing and through you, the SUN of righteousness will come. The DAWN in history will happen through Christ, the Light.
Jacob fled from his brother to escape from the anger of his brother. He spent one evening in the wilderness as a lonely place. The Sun has set. The evening came, the night began his hour, Jacob slept and had a dream. The heavenly dream came to him during that night (Genesis 28:10-13). The promise came to him to assure that the Lord is going to bless him and his generation, then Jacob made a vow to honor God (Genesis 28:20-22).
B. The Shadow of Death
Three incidents in the Bible talks about the shadow of death:
1. The death sentence was announced by King Nebuchadnezzar to kill all the Magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologists of Babylon and its kingdom( Daniel 2:1-2,12-13). The message reached Daniel and his friends (Daniel 2:13-16), the Shadow of death driven the team for collective and concentrated Prayer. They pleaded for mercy and favor of the Lord, and they prayed for the revelation of the Mystery of God (Daniel 2:18-19).