“And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest—for you shall 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, through the tender Mercy of our God; whereby, the Dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of Peace.”
Truly, it was the dawning of a new Day when God’s special Visitor arrived.
Zacharias, whose name means “God has remembered,” wasn’t expecting anyone to show up that day in the Holy Place as he attended to his various responsibilities (Lk. 1:8-10). This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him to do this service; yet, God had other plans for him and literally turned his world upside down (vv.11-25).
After Gabriel told him what God had in store (vv.11-17), Zacharias doubted and was struck dumb for the next nine months (vv.18-25). During that time his elderly wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant (v.24) and he witnessed her becoming “filled with the Holy Ghost” when Mary came for a visit (vv.39-41). He also heard her telling Mary how baby John “leaped for joy” in her womb when he heard Mary’s voice (vv.41, 44).
But, still his mouth was mute.
So, he inwardly “chewed the cud” on all that was happening, trying to make sense of it. Then the long-awaited day came for John to be born and the Lord loosed his tongue, causing him to erupt in praise (vv.57-64). And, then he was “filled with the Holy Ghost and began prophesying” (v.67), out of which came today’s Manna.
Even though he still was looking for an earthly Messiah (vv.71, 74), the Lord expanded his understanding and helped him to realize that this “Coming Anointed One” would enable God’s People to “serve Him without fear and in holiness and righteousness all the days of their lives” (vv.74-75). And, He would also “give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide their feet into the way of peace,” which was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Is. 61:1-3; cf. Ps. 107:9-16).
We should note that the word “Dayspring” comes from the Hebrew word “anatole” and also means “dawn, the rising of light/the sun, to spring up, etc.” Thus, it’s a beautiful picture of an early morning sunrise, except in this case it’s a wonderful picture of Christ’s Birth and Resurrection.
His Birth represented the beginning of a New Day dawning. And, His Resurrection represented the birth of Eternal Hope to all who believe. Truly, it is Jesus’ “Sonshine” in a life blackened by sin that drives away the darkness and dispels the clouds of doubt and gloom. Hallelujah!!
Oh, dear Pilgrim, life can never be the same when God’s Dayspring has visited your house/ heart. And, it’s in that Light—Jesus Himself—that we find “Life, Grace and Truth” (Jn. 1:4-5, 9, 17). May we go forth today as “children of light” (Jn. 12:36; Eph. 5:8; I Thess. 5:5) into a world of darkness, telling them of Jesus’ Love for them and how they, too, can know Him.
May 14, 2011