Jesus: The Hope of Salvation

Anticipation of the King

Advent Series, Week 1


Jesus: The Hope of Salvation

Luke chapter 1. We begin, as Pastor Alex did through our reading and the lighting of the purple candle, we're going to look at hope. Jesus the hope of salvation. And we're going to look at it through the testimony of John the Baptist father Zachariah in Luke Chapter 1. Today I would imagine that pretty much for all of us you can't imagine life any longer without the media. I mean I'm going to be honest with you I don't remember when phones came in. And I'm having a hard time even remembering because there's so much communication given through phone when I didn't have a phone. And we all have such access. You know even if you're watching the evening news and there's certainly nothing wrong with that, it almost feels like it's a week old when you see each and every night. The Internet covers things quickly, very fast, you know. Now there's Twitter and snap story and Snap Chat and gobbledygook and him in that, and you know what I mean. There's just all sorts of a vast very very fast forms of communication and it really feels, at least I'm just confessing this that the way my own thinking is that it, it's moved passed me where I was younger where you know journalism was a reporting of news where in every form of media people are trying to tell you what to think. With all the varied sources and I want you to think about this with me for just a moment, imagine if it all stopped and we didn't have any of it. That's probably a little scary in some ways because we've become so dependent on it and probably would cause a great deal of people, perhaps some to worry and fret because we would be left in our own world just to think and just reflect. 

Kind of what would that feel like today? Honestly you think about that and until recently the whole world sat that way. My dad sat that way a lot. Just like what we're going to look at like Zachariah's life because there wasn't this quick communication. I have long, as most all of you know, went down south every year with my brother and sister of course with my parents, my parents roots were in Tennessee. And whenever we had these reunions, and there was always a big one in July, but there would be some sort of a quasi smaller one at Christmas when all the family would get together. There would be this reflective thought. You would think about your family. Discussion would be made over periods of time of what was going on. And they would talk about local business, but local business to them was farming. My dad was raised in a home that did their farming and that's how they lived and then they developed a small crop off that farming and took it to a one room store and it was called a cash crop. They would give a part of their cash crop to the store and it would be sold. So they would have it a little bit of there. So sitting there, and I was a city kid right from the day I was raised. Born in Detroit, raised in Hazel Park and only ever a city kid. So my whole familiarity though was that family was country and this kind of a very slow paced life and so when you would sit there and I would sit and listen to them and I can honestly hear their voices my varied uncles who are now with Christ. Thankfully I've come from a host of people generationally that knew Jesus. I can hear them talking about their crops and their harvest time. And how important it was for rain in what no. When you think about Zachariah's life, his thoughts ran deeper. You read Luke one. And we're not going to read the whole context. We're going to jump in to when John the Baptist is actually born and the prophecy that the Holy Spirit gives him. We're going to look at that verse 67 through verse 79. Zachariah was a man along with his wife Elizabeth that were dedicated to the temple. It is quite clear in the prophecy that we're going to see they understood many of the covenants that Pastor Alex read from and they were  suffering. 

They understood that their people were suffering and they were living in a time that was suffering. They were under bondage of rule and they knew that people around them hated them and there was a sense in this day when this was being expressed of you know basically only death and no hope permeated the people. And Zachariah pondered the agony of that and yet inside of that he knew the scriptures of God. He knew God had promised a Messiah. He knew the Bible well and he interacted as you go back, we won't. But then what comes to him as an angel of the Lord and he tells him that he's going to have a son and he's not to call him Zachariah as a lot of family tradition typically is and even in our own culture, but he's to call his name John. And this would be John the Baptist and part of the rejoicing that we're going to read about here in verse 67 through 79.  There's really only a couple of verses that are dedicated to his son because he knew that his son, as was prophesied or given to him by the angel of the Lord, he was going to be the forerunner of the Messiah and he was so astonished by the message that's given to him of the Angel of the Lord at first he's kind of in disbelief. And from that the Bible tells us because you did not believe you're not going to be able to speak. So when we get to the portion that we're going to read for from Zachariah has lost his speech and people know in the community that he has seen a vision from God but they don't know exactly what it was and they don't know exactly what it's about. It is on this day that his lips are loosed and that which he longed for, that which he agonized over that which as he pored over the scriptures as it spoke to him boldly of the promise of the savior had now was coming to fruition. 

Let's pick up with this at verse 67. As Zachariah had pondered that undoubtedly he had done so often before. He is now holding his baby son, John the Baptist whom he knows, he's been given the message from God, is going to prepare the way of Yahweh the Lord the Messiah. What hope filled his heart. As his lips now get loosened and the spirit of God gives us these wonderful truths that we're going to see this morning how Jesus, friends, is really the hope of our salvation. He sings this song because he knows very soon that hope will arrive and that God himself will rescue his people in and through and by his own son. Within this text, here's what I want you to notice as we consider and think about the advent of Jesus, the first Advent. I think there's four word pictures that are given to us here. Four word pictures that give us Jesus who is the hope of our salvation. And the first one we find in verse 68 where he says blessed to be the Lord God of Israel for he has visited and redeemed his people. The first word picture that I want to submit to you is that Jesus is the opening of a prison door. 

The word redeemed there can mean to deliver or to open or to set free. Jesus opens the prison door. The prison which holds us captive by our own sin his people, in the terms of him coming as the kingdom coming and bursting forth through his birth, were rescued. Our redemption, the hope of our salvation, would come with a cost because you and I, dear friends, were imprisoned in our sin and without hope. By Christ's death we've been delivered and Jesus, in fact, has set us free. You'll recall these words that we looked at in Hebrews chapter 2 speaking of Jesus death. It says through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death. That is the devil. And to deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. And that's our condition. That has always been the condition of the redeemed. We were enslaved to our sin and it was Jesus' death and resurrection that broke through as we received him by faith where we were no longer enslaved to it. Charles Wesley, when considering this thought of being set free and that Jesus opens the prison door wrote the hymn that celebrated his conversion.  You'll remember this verse it illustrates it to us perfectly. Listen to these words

"Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature's night. Thine eye diffused a quickening Ray. I awoke the dungeon flamed with light, my chains fell off, my heart was free. I rose and went forth and followed thee. Amazing love. How can it be that thou my god should die for me." 

You and I,  as we have found Jesus as the hope of salvation, the prison that we were enslaved into our own sin its been set free. It's been moved behind because the son is the one who has set us free and as Jesus would proclaim, "If the sun set you free you are free indeed."

Secondly Jesus is the hope of salvation and he's pictured here in verse sixty nine through seventy five as winning a battle. Jesus is the one who wins the battle. If you read very carefully Isaiah chapter 53 it pictures Jesus as a conquering general. Here it's described in verse 69 Jesus' as has raised up all horn of salvation for us the horn in scripture symbolizes a battle. Its referring to strengthen victory and deliverance. You'll notice this here and I'll give you this for you note takers. In first Kings chapter 22 verse 11 or in Daniel Chapter 8 verse 5 through 7.  Jesus is the horn of salvation. He is the one, verse 71, that saves us from our enemies. Verse 74 he is the one that delivers us from the hand of our enemies. Why? Because Jesus wins the battle. He has the strength and the power to win and to bring salvation. It is Christ who gives you and I the victory Jesus has won the battle and he has delivered his people. 

When did the battle began? It began where, again, Pastor Alex read from this morning in Genesis 3:15. When man was at his darkest moment God came rushing to him to promise him a redeemer and a savior.  And that that one the messiah who would come, who would crush the serpent, the devil.  He remembers his promise that he made to Abraham look at verse 73 and the oath that he swore to our father Abraham to grant us. Now we know this, again, Pastor Alex read from a text that deals with a lot of things that deal with the Abrahamic covenant but I want you to catch the central theme of what Zachariah thought about. Which is through his seed all of the families of the Earth would be blessed. And that the new testament writers would pick up on. Turn the Galatians 3 because the most important theme of the oath that God made to Abraham was the promise of Christ. Paul relates this when he is preaching the gospel to a church that was beginning to embrace a false gospel. He says this in verse 16. "Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring." It does not say two offsprings, plural referring to many, but referring to one and, "To your offspring who is Christ." Because Christ, dear friends, is the one who has won the battle. When hope was lost in the garden, God promised a savior a conquering general who would come and gain us the victory over sin. And so it was that Jesus would come. Jesus is the king who conquers. He has raised up verse 69 all horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David. King David. Jesus, of course, is the greater King who conquers the battle. Jesus wins the battle. Jesus is the one who keeps the promise Jesus is the one who gives the victory and Luke declares it as such. 

Look at verse 32 when the birth of Jesus was foretold. This is the emphasis of scripture, Christ verse 32 and he will be great and he will be called the son of the Most High and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the House of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there will be no end. Why is this true? Because God keeps His covenant. Because God keeps his promise. Because God in verse 72 where Zachariah prophesied who shows his mercy through covenant, the creation covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the Davidic covenant the promises of God come to fruition and Jesus himself.  It is Jesus who gives you hope because he's won the battle. Jesus is the horn of salvation. He's brought us the strength in the victory he will deliver us. 

Thirdly Jesus cancels the debt, and this is most needed. Look with me again to verse 77 speaking of John the Baptist as the fore runner, it says to give the knowledge of salvation into his people and the forgiveness of sin. Now the forgiveness of sin wasn't targeted in the person of John the Baptist it's targeted in Jesus because Jesus is the one who cancels the debt. Forgiveness of sin is necessary. We need our sin to be forgiven. And let's be honest about this, Christmas is nothing without the forgiveness of sin. It is nothing but verse 77 tells us that the four honor John the Baptist would bring the knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sin. The King James used the word remission. The ESV and the New American Standard uses the word forgiveness. Forgiveness here means to cancel the debt. Jesus is our hope to bring us the forgiveness of my sin. He has paid the debt in full and we magnify and glorify His name because of this. Because here's the truth, friends, we are indebted to God. We have robbed God and we, in fact, owe God. We have all robbed him of his glory. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, the Bible tells us. We have stolen from his love. We've been unthankful to his mercy. We've treated his grace cheaply. Not to mention every other form of sin we've become involved in. To understand that our sins have a cancelled debt, we must accept the fact that we are sinners and sinners against a wholly and just God. So that we see how Jesus does in fact cancel the debt because he took the wrath that I was due. He bore the justice of my sin's penalty though he himself never sin. By and through Christ death he cancels the debt when sinners believe. Jesus is the hope for your debt being cancelled.  Embrace him by faith. The just one suffering for the unjust ones so that our sin debt could be cancelled. 

The last word picture here that I want to show you is in verses 78 and 79. Where Jesus is pictured as the dawning of a new day. Verse 78. That's the birth of Christ from on high. Why? To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way of peace. Jesus, dear friends, is the dawning of a new day. The sunrise. It's called here in the ESV. The King James says it's the day spring. The NIV says it's the rising sun. The NASB calls it the sunrise. What is he speaking of? It's the new day when Christ would come, because hope had arrived. It had come to the world and Jesus inaugurated a new kingdom. That's why John the Baptist would go out and say, "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Jesus first public words were repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. You and I stand before, as we proclaim the Gospel, declaring to the people, as we have, to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. By Jesus' birth and his sinless life and his death and his resurrection and ascension, a new day has come.  The sun has risen and His glory has visited his people. Hope springs eternal for you and I. Because Jesus is the one who gives us light in darkness. Jesus is the one who gives us light in the shadow of death. His light guides us to the way of peace and no longer do we sit here in darkness not understanding the beginning from the end. No longer for you and I, as we looked in Hebrews, is there this fear of death because our troubled souls have found peace through the peace keeper, Jesus. Jesus is the dawning of a new day.  Hope has arrived and Zachariah knows that it's on the verge that Jesus birth will come soon. He's brought hope to a world that is lost. Dear friends we're not anything without hope. How miserable would we be? What kind of people would we be if we had no hope? If we had nothing to picture ahead. 

In looking at this day, the first Advent again that we reflected upon God promised a savior Jesus came to deal with sin to deal with sin in death, which is our enemy. Folks, it's our enemy. Jesus the promised hope conquered sin and death at the Cross and through the resurrection, so that he would bring the hope of salvation to us. That's already taken place right.  We recognize that. That's why we're here worshipping him. All the promises that came true for that are going to come true for the second advent and the writers of the New Testament both of John and Paul will relate those second advent looking toward hope. In relating them to hope through your own personal salvation and through the hope of redemption and creation. I want you to see this real quickly as we as we draw this to an end. And we go and we contemplate the table here this morning. Turn with me to 1 John 3. You possess the kingdom. It's in your heart. God has transformed your life as a new creation of in Christ. And for us the prison door has been broke loose from our sin. Jesus has won our battle. Our sin debt has been cancelled through forgiveness and there is a new day that has dawned in our heart. That's already taken place. And yet, friends, there's not yet. There's something hope still has something in front of us, a future. And that hope one day will be realized when the full redemption Jesus the hope of our salvation comes for his people. And there's a resurrection. Look at 1 John 3 and look how John attaches the biblical truth of hope to the resurrection beloved. Verse 2. We are God's children. Now already that is true. And what we will be has not yet appeared. It's not yet but we know that when he appears. That is Jesus. We shall be like him because we will be resurrected. Why? Because we will see him as he is and because that is true. Everyone who thus hopes in Christ in this fashion. Because I'm going to have a resurrected body purifies himself to live to Christ's righteousness and holiness currently. 

So here's the hope of your salvation. Number one this is that your going to be resurrected from the dead. In a new and eternal and final body, it's going to be like Jesus. No, we won't be greater than Jesus. But what John is referring to is dear friends, you will never sin again. You will never think about sin again. Oh I like that it is glorious. Redemption hope will be realized. You're going to have a new resurrected body. But dear friends we're caught up to a bigger picture than that. Because it isn't just about us. It's our story wrapped into Christ's story because Christ is not only redeeming you personally he's going to redeem creation itself in the New Heavens and new earth. And it is Paul who uses the same biblical doctrine of hope that attaches that so that we will see, there's something greater going on in my life than God just giving me a goody two shoe thing but that God has redeemed me. He's caught me up in the hope of salvation. He's going to resurrect me and give me a body eternally for him. And not only is he going to do that for me he's going to do that for other believers and not only is he going to do that he's going to redeem creation itself. 

Turn Romans Chapter 8. So you can see this. It's oftentimes a truth that is neglected in the Christian church that God himself, Jesus himself, is going to make everything new and it's attached to this not yet. It's tied to the Second Advent. It is creation itself that sometimes is missed. Look closely with me the words found in Verse 18. Now the revealing of the sons of God is 1 John 3. In the resurrection will get a resurrected body. Why? Because as John says we're going to see Jesus as he is and he's going to make us new completely. And finally. That's not yet happened. And yet that's that hopeful reality that that's your living your life for. You are not living your life for being an engineer or being a business owner or whatever. How shortsighted is that? No! Your story of being redeemed is caught up into the greater story of what God is doing to not only redeem you he's going to redeem creation itself. For the creation was subjected to futility not willingly. That's in the fall. But because of him who subjected it, that was God. And look at this. In hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now and not only the creation that God is going to redeem. that Jesus is going to redeem. But we ourselves who are the followers of Jesus who have the first fruits of the spirit and your inner man, you are groaning inwardly you are waiting eagerly when you will be made fully and finally the adoption. As sons and daughters of God the redemption. Look at this, the redemption of your body. See the kingdom has already save the soul. It's already saved that immaterial man on the inside but man this material man's got to be redeemed because it will rear its ugly head and it will desire sin wrongly. And that's that war that we're all engaged in. That perhaps sometimes we're silently going through when we're actually we're all doing that and community together. We have waged war against our sin as followers of Christ. We want to live to the righteousness and the holiness of God. Oh yeah we fall short of that we recognize that. But bless and thank God we have been made righteous because of the cross. Jesus has made us His righteousness. Verse 23 as we close and not only the creation but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the spirit we groan inwardly and we wait eagerly for adoption his son, the redemption of our bodies. He makes all this relationship of what is not yet the full creation being made new look what he ties it to. For in this, verse, 24 we hope for in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not is not hope for he who hope for who hopes for what he sees. But if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it with patience. Dear friends getting weary. Nurture that biblical truth of hope. Go back to these truths that tell you, man, God is going to give me a resurrected body to spend eternity with him and God's connected me to a family of people that he's been saving since Cain killed Abel and that one day when Jesus comes Revelation 21 tells us there will be a new heavens and new earth and creation will be like it's never been before never to turn ever back again because Christ has paid for sin in finality. Let's pray.