“Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, (79) to give Light to them that sit in darkness – and – in the shadow of death – to guide our feet into the Way of Peace.” [Lk.1:78-79]
Once again, we have been examining these two verses which are the capstone conclusion of the Holy Spirit inspired declaration of old priest Zacharias – the earthly father of John the Baptist. Last month we noted a very significant comparison of this account in Luke 1 – with Malachi’s prophecy of the coming of Christ as the “Sun of righteousness” – arising with healing in His wings. This is recorded in Mal.3:1 and 4:1-2. Old Zacharias’s unbelief (and his consequent inability to speak) was immediately healed with the arrival and consecration of his son who would become the prophet/forerunner of the promised “Dayspring from on high”. This marked in our history of fallen humanity the coming of our Kinsman Redeemer — the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ! Whereas, as we have already noted, the prophecy of Malachi descriptively declares the final coming of our Kinsman Redeemer into the actual history of fallen humanity – the final Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Now we’re ready to give consideration to verse 79 – which outlines the eternal purpose of the person and work of the Lord Jesus, the incarnated into the likeness of sinful flesh of the eternal Son of God and Son of man! Verse 79 tells us that He who is the “Dayspring from on high” (the Lord Jesus) is the “Light to them that sit in darkness”. These that sit in darkness are, in turn, the “people prepared for the Lord” whom Gabriel announced (in Lk.1:17) that Zacharias’s son (John the Baptist) would “make ready”. These are the publicans and harlots, &c., unto whom John the Baptist ministered the baptism of repentance! It was unto these multitudes of different persons that he proclaimed Christ Jesus as being “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world”!
The “darkness” that they sit in – is this dark and sin-filled world. 2Co.4:3-4 descriptively declares “if our gospel be hid –it is hid to them that are lost (4) in whom the god of this world (the prince of darkness) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not (exactly like Zacharias was) lest (lit.) the Light of the gospel of the glory only of Christ – who is the image of God – should shine unto them!” It is these “prepared” people that make up the same as those whom Peter describes from 1Pe.2:9-10 as being “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people (or, a people of God’s own personal possession) – that – should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light (10) which in time past – were not a people – but are now the people of God – which had not obtained mercy – but now had obtained mercy.”
The apostle Paul writes to us from Eph.5:8,11 and 14: “For ye were sometimes darkness – but now are ye Light in the Lord – walk as children of Light.” “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness – but rather reprove them.” “Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest! And arise from the dead – and Christ shall give thee Light!” That’s the Light of the Truth concerning the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ – which only the Holy Spirit of God and Christ can truly communicate and convey unto us. [see Jn.16:13-15] Therefore does the Holy Spirit through Zacharias also describe being in this world as spiritually being “in darkness and in the shadow of death”. We must always be aware of where we are — and where we are being led! Lord willing — we shall look more closely into all this next month.
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter