Summary: The Good News is that God send His Son to Redeem us from our sin.
“The Good News Candle”
December 9, 2007
"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
This is good news to Zechariah. It is such good news that Zechariah doesn’t just tell it or preach it – he SINGS it. This is called Zechariah’s song. But the good news isn’t just to Zechariah, it is for all people. It is good new for you and me. This morning I want to talk about the good news the angels brought to the world – way back then. First, I think it is important to notice what kind of people Zechariah and his wife was. Verse 6 of this chapter tells us:
“Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.” Luke 1:6
These folks loved God. They were devoted to Him. How do I know that? They were obedient. They kept His commands and all those religious regulations they had back then. They were blameless and upright in the sight of God, God’s Word says. That tells me they loved God with their whole hearts. They believed in Him and His Word. You don’t do all the things they did if you don’t.
And I want to point out that, even though they were obedient and God fearing and lovers of God, everything didn’t go just right for them. The thing they wanted most, a child, God didn’t bless them with. But just because things didn’t go their way, did they get angry and resentful? No. They just kept lovin’ and workin’ and obeyin’ God anyway. What do we call that? We call that FAITH! Here was a man and woman of faith! And their faith was rewarded. God gave them a child to accomplish His purpose. And it wasn’t just any child. It was a blessed child from birth. We still remember him 2000 years later. We marvel at him and talk about him to this day.
Folks, when you are a man or woman of faith, good things happen. God can use you for good things. God can bless you in great ways. But if you are the kind of person who gets upset and resentful when things don’t go the way you think they should go – nothing much happens. God can’t bless that kind of attitude. Trust and obey – there’s no other way, the old song says. And it’s still true today.
In the good news that Zechariah brought, the first blessing he mentions is that “he has come and has redeemed his people”. There’s a couple of important things about that bit of Good News that catches my attention. First, notice it is in present tense. It hasn’t happened yet – but to this man of faith – it has. God said it. He believed it. That settled it.
Also, God is time and space transcendent, which means that everything is present tense to Him. He was and is and will be – all at the same time. He transcends time. He is above time. We are locked into this little space capsule we call ‘now’ or the ‘present’, but God isn’t. He can (and is) present yesterday, today and even tomorrow, before it even comes to us. That is why when Moses asked God to describe Himself, God described Himself as “I Am”. He is ‘omnipresent’. That is why the Bible also says “He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” And Jesus was the redeemer for the folks in the Old Testament, the New Testament and for us today. It is good news that God sent His Son to redeem Israel and us.
But what does that mean? Why the big deal about redeeming Israel? The Bible Dictionary defines redeem like this: