Summary: There is salvation for people who lived and died during the Mosaic, Age of The Law, through God’s grace but only realized through Jesus Christ.
We started a new message series last week. Please grab a Bible and open it to the Gospel of Luke.
Before looking at v5-10 today, read again with me Luke 1:3-4…..
Luke as led by God the Holy Spirit carefully investigated not only the writings that were already available about Christ but he also interviewed those who personally experienced Jesus Christ while He was here on earth. And the purpose of Luke’s writings was to provide sure proof about who Jesus Christ is!
Let us also note some relevant information for our passage today.
A. Bible passages must be understood based on God’s schedule.
Bible scholars call the time frames of God’s schedule as dispensations. For simplicity, Bible Scholars either have a 3 or a 7 Dispensation Schedule. Personally, I think there are more.
Anyway, let me keep it simple for our discussions: God of course is beyond time and is forever! God started time for us when He created the universe that we see. The Bible starts with Genesis 1:1 which states, “In the beginning, God created….” After God created the universe and the first man and woman, there was a time of perfection here on earth. God walked with man and woman. That time is called the “Edenic or Innocence Age”. That age of course ended with man sinning against God.
For our discussion we will just note that the next age to the “Edenic Age” is the “Mosaic or Age of Law”, a time in which people were to live based on God’s laws.
But because man can not totally meet all of God’s Law, God sent Jesus Christ to earth. Jesus of course had to die for man’s sins but He rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven. We are now living that age, which is the “Church Age”. There will then be the “Millennial Kingdom Age” then the “Eternal Kingdom Age”.
And so again, Bible passages must be interpreted based on what time it is on God’s schedule. Our passage today will mention King Herod and priests before the Church Age; let’s talk about them briefly. Even though Israel was conquered by Rome in the year 66 BC, kings were allowed to rule the country. B. King Herod was the King of Israel when Jesus Christ was born on earth. King Herod died when Jesus was about 4 years old.
Now, under the Mosaic or Age of Law, God called King Solomon in 957BC to build a Temple in Jerusalem. As we had noted during our study of Daniel, that first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. In 538BC, the rebuilding of the Temple was started and that Temple was renovated by King Herod in 20BC (show picture). The Temple of course was built for worship of God and for sacrifices for the sins of Israel. C. God called priests to perform the duties required in the Temple in Jerusalem. If you remember, (Moses’ brother Aaron was the first priest called by God).
Before reading our passage, let us pray together our commitment to God’s Word…..
Read along with me now, Luke 1:5-10…..
What can we note from this passage?
1. It was the time of King Herod before Jesus Christ was born.
2. There was an elderly couple Zechariah and Elizabeth, both from the family lineage of Aaron the first priest of Israel.
3. Elizabeth was barren (could not have a child).
Now, will you agree with me that Zechariah and Elizabeth will be in heaven? Why will they be in heaven?
4. Zechariah and Elizabeth were found righteous by God!
Now, does this mean that Zechariah and Elizabeth never sinned against God? Although they were found righteous in the sight of God, what are 2 reasons why we can not say that Zechariah and Elizabeth never sinned??
1. Jesus didn’t have to die then!
If Zechariah and Elizabeth didn’t sin then there would have been no need for God to become a man to die for them; but Jesus did die for them.
The Apostle Paul stated in Galatians 2:21, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
2. Romans 3:23…..
And so, according to God’s Word, every person in the world has sinned against God, including Zechariah and Elizabeth.
And so, how can we say that Zechariah and Elizabeth are going to heaven when Jesus Christ hasn’t even been born yet? Yes, it is possible that Zechariah and Elizabeth could still be alive when Jesus died on the cross. But this is highly unlikely for the Word of God tells us that Zechariah and Elizabeth were already very old and we don’t read about them when Jesus walked the earth.
But even if Zechariah and Elizabeth lived till Jesus went to the cross, there is still the question how people are saved from their sins before Jesus was born on earth.