Summary: The coming of the Messiah was the “hope” of the Israelite people for thousands of years. John the Baptist’s father Zechariah described 5 facets of their hope that was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ. Christmas brings home these five wonderful hope
THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS
1. A family was on their way to the hospital with their 15-year old daughter who was scheduled to undergo a tonsillectomy.
2. During the ride they talked about how the procedure would be performed. “Dad,” the teenager asked, “how are they going to keep my mouth open during the surgery?”
3. Without hesitation her dad quipped, “They’re going to put a cell phone by your mouth!”
1. The Israelite nation looked forward to the coming of their Messiah with “hope.” Luke describes this hope in his record of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus; “but we had hoped that He [Jesus] was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” 24:21
2. This Messianic HOPE is further elucidated by John the Baptist’s father Zechariah when he was filled with the Spirit and prophesied;
67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear.
1. DEFINITION OF HOPE:
a. A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.
b. Something that is hoped for or desired: Success is our hope.
c. One that is a source of or reason for hope.
d. To have confidence; trust.
2. Tonight, we’re going to look at the Five Hopes of Christmas and see how each is a hope for us this Christmas.
I. HOPE ONE: A REDEEMER(68)
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.”(68)
A. MY REDEEMER LIVES!
1. The Patriarch Job said, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth”Job 19:25.
2. To those who are "sold in sin" (Rom. 7:14) it's our eternal hope that we will be redeemed from this world of sin and taken to heaven.
2. In the Old Testament, especially in the book of Ruth, the Kinsman Redeemer was a close relative who would purchase his relative out of slavery. Praise God -- Jesus is family!
B. COMPLETE REDEMPTION
Jesus is a thorough Redeemer! He redeemed us from our past (sins), He regains us and our present (helping us overcome), and He will redeem us in our future -- by the rapture of the church, and take us to heaven! Thank God our Redeemer has come!
II. HOPE TWO: A HORN OF SALVATION(69)
A. POWER TO SAVE
“He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David”(69).
1. The second hope of Christmas was expressed by Zechariah as "the Horn of Salvation." The word "horn" symbolizes strength, like the horn of an animal. Referring to Jesus -- of the House of David -- it emphasizes He has the "power" to Save!
2. Unlike "redemption," which is the legal action of buying something back, "salvation" is the experiential/ontological action of transformation.
B. ONLY JESUS HAS THAT POWER!
1. It's not a legal code, being good enough, or even being sacrificial that saves a person; they must be "Born Again." We must be spiritually transformed from death to life. Our spirits must be regenerated, quickened together with Christ and made alive. Only the Resurrection Power of Jesus can do that!
2. Thank God He has sent us a Savior as well as a Redeemer!
III. HOPE THREE: RESCUED FROM OUR ENEMIES(71, 74a)
“…salvation(rescue, v. 74) from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us”(71).
A. IDENTIFYING OUR ENEMY
1. We have an adversary, the devil, who goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. In John 10:10 Jesus said, "The thief comes but for to kill, to steal, and to destroy; but I have come that you might have life, and life abundantly."
2. The devil is the thief that Jesus referred to who wants to "kill" our aspirations to draw near to God, "steal" us from God's presence, and "destroy" us in hell forever.
B. THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS RESCUES US
1. Listen to some of the words of the Reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) recorded in his famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God;
“A mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on Earth is not his equal.