Remember why Luke wrote this gospel…
…he wanted to provide a well-documented, researched account of what God had done in SPACE and TIME to bring about His redemptive plan, so that Theophilus would have confidence in all he had been taught about Jesus.
What that means is…
…every sentence, paragraph and category of information Luke wrote in this 1st chapter is crucial to giving someone like Theophilus confidence that The Gospel is true, thus one can rest the fullness of their life and eternity on it.
Luke 1:67-80 also brings us to the 3rd of 5 outbursts of praise that surround the conception and ultimate birth of the Messiah.
SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 1:67-80, ESV
Like Mary’s song of praise (The Magnificat) Zechariah’s song has been given a title, (BENEDICTUS) based on the first line of VS68: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel. When translated in the Latin Vulgate it was rendered Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel.
VS67 tells us that the words pouring out of Zechariah are the result of his being filled with The Holy Spirit, who moved upon him to prophesy. That is to speak forth the words of God. What he speaks can be broken down into three stanzas which praise God for His faithfulness in keeping three salvific covenants He made in preparation for the birth of Christ.
THE DAVIDIC COVENANT – VS68-71
God’s covenant with David can be found in 2 Samuel 7:12-17.
God promised David:
• A Throne – Kingdom that would last forever.
• A Righteous Heir who could establish and maintain the everlasting Kingdom.
• God Himself, would see to it that this is fulfilled.
“Horn of Salvation.” What an odd term to our ears. It is meant to bring to mind the strength of deliverance that is symbolized in the horns of an animal, like an OX or Buffalo.
Before an OX or Buffalo goes to battle, it will lower its head and begin to rhythmically swing its horns back and forth while it scuffs it’s hoof on the ground. This is the sign that it is preparing for a deadly charge.
Jesus is our “horn of salvation!” The Mighty Deliver of God who ransoms His people from sin’s curse by His own blood and ultimately destroys His enemies to establish an everlasting Kingdom that brings peace and prosperity the redeemed
THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT VS72-75
God’s covenant with Abraham can be found in Genesis 12:1-3; 15:4-5.
God promised Abram:
• He would create a new and great nation through him.
*This included many offspring and a specific land.
• Through Abrahams offspring all of the nations (people groups) of the earth would be blessed.
• God Himself would see to it that this was fulfilled.
When God told Abraham that “in him all the nations would be blessed” He was pointing to a specific offspring that would come through the line of this new people.
His life, death and resurrection would make Him the wellspring of MERCY that God promised to bring to His people.
His redemptive work would deliver God’s people, both Jews and Gentiles, from the hand of their enemy, our ultimate enemy being sin and spiritual death, empowering them to be set free to live for God.
THE NEW COVENANT – VS76-79
The NEW COVENANT is prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34.
The writer of Hebrews referred to it as he wrote about the superiority of Christ’s ministry and New Covenant over that of the Mosaic Covenant.
The Mosaic Covenant was conditional in that it required people to keep the Law. No one could keep the law and so everyone was found to be guilty.
The New Covenant is unconditional in that it rests NOT on people’s ability to keep the Law, but on God’s willingness, through the cross and resurrection of Christ Jesus, to place His righteousness in us, so that our salvation rests NOT on our works, but His grace.
Hebrews 8:6-13 Romans 8:3-4
The New Covenant is a covenant that was made and sealed by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
It is the work Jesus came to earth to do.
It was for this that John was commissioned to prepare a people to move into God’s redemptive plan.
It was this plan that Zechariah refers to in the closing stanza of his song.
This NEW and FINAL covenant had to be made in order for the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants to be fulfilled and applied to our lives.
• In Christ, Abraham as become a blessing to the whole world.
• In Christ, David’s heir rules in justice and righteousness with an eternal rule.
• In Christ, sinners are redeemed from the penalty, power and ultimately the presence of sin, by God’s power, given as a gift through faith.
Today we celebrate the bread and cup of communion because these elements symbolize the working out and ratification of the New Covenant of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
Luke 22:20 record these words of Jesus on the night of His betrayal… “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
Praise God! Because of the blood of Jesus Christ we can come near to Him, to know Him as our Loving Father, being His dearly loved Sons and Daughters.
This is the song Zechariah sang.
This is the meaning of its stanza’s.
Has it become real in your heart?