Zechariah’s Song Concerning the Savior by Pastor Roger Rohde

Zechariah’s Song Concerning the Savior”

Luke 1: 67-75

The word of God we reflect upon this morning is known as the first half of Zechariah’s song.  It, like the song of Mary we looked at last week, is a song of praise.  It is a song of praise concerning the Savior.  It is known in the Christian church by the title, “Benedictus,” deriving this title from the first word of the song found in the Latin language.  The truths found in this song are not the ideas of men, but as our text tells us the ideas of God revealed to Zechariah by the Holy Spirit.  Let us look at how the Savior’s coming leads us in praising God each and every day of our lives.

The coming of the Savior speaks to the faithfulness of God.

Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, God pursued them to address their spiritual state.  God asked them, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  When it was impossible for them to hide from God Adam and Eve confessed their sin, but tried to claim their innocence by blaming someone else for the sin they committed.  God did not accept their plea for innocence by trying to make someone else accountable for their sin.  But before God spoke of their sin would affect the lives of people on earth, He promised them that a virgin would bring forth a Son Who would “crush the head of Satan” as He Himself would encounter a painful death in defeating Satan.

Some 4,000 years after this promise a virgin named Mary gave birth to a Son and called Him Jesus, because He would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).  The fulfillment of this 4,000 year-old promise is what Zechariah praises God for as he states: “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)…. He has remembered His holy covenant, the oath He swore to our father Abraham.”

The faithfulness of God to His every word is something that can keep a song of praise to God ever on our lips and within our hearts.  Do you know of anyone else so faithful that you can live by his every word without question or doubt?  We may know some pretty trustworthy people on earth.  Yet, every once in a while these trustworthy people may have to change what they promised because something unexpected came up.  This is not the case with the Lord.  God never reneges on His Word because circumstances have changed.  God’s faithfulness can be counted on even when circumstances do change.  The Christian’s song of praise can be endless in nature because God’s faithfulness to His promises does not change within the changing situations in life we encounter.  This is why Paul points to the coming of Jesus when he writes: “If God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, will He not with Him give us all things” (Romans 8:32).  Christ’s coming to earth to be our Savior enables us to give thanks in every and all situations of life, because we can lean on the faithfulness of God’s promises.

A second aspect of Zechariah’s song of praise rests in what Jesus came to do.  He is described as the One Who “came to redeem His people, to rescue us from the hand of our enemies.”  Here Zechariah speaks about from what Jesus saved us.

This leads Zechariah to speak of Jesus as a “horn of salvation.”  This is an interesting term for it reflects upon the all-encompassing nature of the salvation Jesus brings us.  Thanksgiving is often pictured with a large horn or cornucopia filled with foods with which God has richly blessed us.  Jesus saves us from sin, death, and the power of the devil.  His salvation is all-encompassing.  Hence, he is referred to as a “horn of salvation.”

What is further interesting is that Zechariah speaks of this all-encompassing act of Jesus’ salvation for us in the past tense.  Jesus had not yet been born, but because of God’s faithfulness Zechariah spoke of Jesus’ saving work for mankind as having already occurred: “He has come and redeemed His people.   He has raised up a horn of salvation for us.”

Most assuredly Jesus has rescued us from the enemies of sin, death and the devil.  In Ephesians 1:7, we are told: “In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”  In Hebrews 2:14-15, we read: “Since children have flesh and blood, Jesus too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

In this hour, what is there of which we are to be afraid?  Has not Jesus paid the debt of our sins and opened heaven’s door for us?  Has not Jesus stripped death of its power so that is no longer can separate us from God, but actually is now a mere shadow we pass through with Christ to enter heaven’s glory?  What is there that can separate us from Christ’s love and the eternal home that he has prepared for us?  The Scriptural answer is, “Nothing!”  “Nothing in all the world can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39).Do you not find a song of praise to the Lord arising within you as you consider all that He has given to you in His faithfulness by coming to be your Savior.  He has set us free from all our enemies.

Finally in this song of Zechariah concerning the Savior, we find praise unto the Lord because of what Jesus’ saving work now enables us to do.  He has rescued us from our enemies and “enables us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness all our days.”

These are the very words of Scripture Martin Luther referenced when he wrote the meaning to the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed that we used us our confession of faith today.  God’s beautiful gift of salvation in Jesus Christ set us free from the burden of our sins so that alive in Christ we can now serve the Lord with joy and gladness.  Each day of life we are given on earth is a day in which we are privileged and blessed to be used by and serve our God for the expanding of His kingdom and the spreading of His saving grace.  As the Apostle Paul noted for all Christendom: “Christ died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him Who died for them and was raised again” (II Corinthians 5:15).

In the summer of 1978, a two year-old boy was walking the streets of Dallas, Texas with his parents.  It was noontime and the sidewalks were crowded.  In the mist of all the people, this little boy with all his heart sang out, “Joy to the world the Lord is come.”  People smiled and thought this little boy to be so cute.  The parents, however, did not know what triggered this song until they returned home.  As they looked at pictures of that day in Dallas, the little boy saw a picture of a global shaped building.  Once again the song rang out, “Joy to the world the Lord is come.”

Oh that we would have that childlike faith and take to heart the truths about the Savior found in Zechariah’s song.  Great are the blessings of God’s faithfulness and salvation that come in Jesus, our Savior.  May we sing His praises now and throughout our lives.  Amen.

No comments yet

Comments are closed

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church All rights reserved 2017