“And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,” (Luke 1:76-77)
Luke 1:6-7 says that Zacharias and Elisabeth “were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.” Yet they knew God was a good God.
One day as Zacharias was in the temple, the angel Gabriel appeared and said, “Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Maybe Zacharias had still been praying for a child. Maybe not. Yet God heard his prayer and would not only give him a son, but his son would be Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist. God answered their prayer in His time, no doubt in a far greater way than they’d imagined. So if we pray and God doesn’t answer the way we want, we can still trust Him to answer in His perfect way and time: Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He hath made everything beautiful in his time.”
Zacharias said of his son, “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins” (Luke 1:76-77). Look at that last part, “salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.” To be saved is to have your sins forgiven.
Maybe as a cop you’ve saved someone who was in danger of serious injury or even death. If you have, you probably still remember the incident. Well, our sins have placed us in danger of eternal death in hell, but Jesus came to save us. Jesus was born so we could be forgiven of our sins, and no longer condemned. When the angel appeared to Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, he said, “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Christmas is a fun time, even as a secular holiday. Yet if you don’t know Jesus as Saviour and have forgiveness of your sins, it’s just that—a secular holiday and no more. Once it’s over, the decorations go back into storage, and it’s back to business as usual. If you have Jesus as Saviour, though, you have God’s assurance that your eternal sin-debt is forever gone. If you haven’t, please click “Helpful Links” and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the main menu.
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822