“𝗕𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗼𝗿𝗱 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗜𝘀𝗿𝗮𝗲𝗹, 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗱 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗿𝗮𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘂𝗽 𝗮 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝗮𝗹𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘂𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱, 𝗮𝘀 𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗸𝗲 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝗹𝘆 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗵𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝗹𝗱, 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘂𝘀…” —𝗟𝘂𝗸𝗲 𝟭:𝟲𝟴–𝟳𝟭
Notice two remarkable things from these words of Zechariah in Luke 1.
First, nine months earlier, Zechariah could not believe his wife would have a child. Now, filled with the Holy Spirit, he is so confident of God’s redeeming work in the coming Messiah that he puts it in the past tense. 𝙁𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙛 𝙛𝙖𝙞𝙩𝙝, 𝙖 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙘𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙂𝙤𝙙 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙨 𝙜𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙖𝙨 𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙚. Zechariah has learned to take God at his word and so has a remarkable assurance: “God has visited and redeemed!”
Second, the coming of Jesus the Messiah is a visitation of God to our world: “The God of Israel has visited and redeemed.” For centuries, the Jewish people had languished under the conviction that God had withdrawn: the spirit of prophecy had ceased, Israel had fallen into the hands of Rome. And all the godly in Israel were awaiting the visitation of God. Luke tells us in 2:25 that the devout Simeon was “looking for the consolation of Israel.” And in Luke 2:38 the prayerful Anna was “looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”
These were days of great expectation. Now 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙫𝙞𝙨𝙞𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙂𝙤𝙙 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙣—𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙚𝙙, 𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙣𝙤 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙚𝙙.
SOURCE: Taken from Good News of Great Joy (Daily Readings for Advent) by John Piper. © 2013