Joy Through Peace (Tidings of Great Joy series #3)
Jason White



Where do we find peace? And how can we have peace in our lives? True peace is not found in our situations or circumstances but in a Person, and His name is Jesus. Through the birth of Jesus, Peace has come to the Earth and is freely given to all who believe in His name.






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Well, if you have your Bible with you or a device with the Bible app on it, we're going to be in Luke, just like we have been the last few weeks. We're picking up into chapter one, verse 57. We've covered the first 56 verses over the last couple of weeks or so we're going to try to make it all the way through verse 80. Today, so we'll be starting in chapter one, verse 57. Before we do that, and when acknowledged the kids in the room were all my kids that say, Good morning, Pastor Baldo. Right, so glad that you guys are in here this morning. Thanks for joining us for worship, please help me try to keep your parents awake. During this time. Some of them have a tendency to kind of nod off, it's your job to keep them awake, make sure they're paying attention during this time. All right, chapter one of Luke, beginning of verse 57 says, when it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son, her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. So you may remember if you were here the last few weeks or you've read Luke's account of the Christmas story before that an angel had appeared to Zachariah Elizabeth's husband in their old age, and said that he was going to or God rather was going to miraculously blessed them with a child, she had been bearing her entire life. They've been praying longing for a child and the angel said it was finally going to happen. And we see here as Luke continues to pick up in the story that God did fulfill this particular promise that this baby was born. And of course, it caused great joy in their own lives. Their friends and family who were around were were celebrating and shared. 59 It says on the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child. And they were going to name him after his father's Zachariah. But his mother spoke up and said no, he is to be called John. Now you may remember as well that earlier in the chapter, this is what the angel had told them to name this baby that God was going to bless with them with that his name should be John. Of course, we're told by Luke that everybody around here just figured that they were going to name him after his father because that was customary during this particular day and age to name a child after their father or their grandfather. But she speaks up and says no, no, no, we're supposed to call him John, his name is John. And well, they begin to give him a hard time about that or her a hard time about that. Verse 60. Warren says they said to her, hey, there is no one among your relatives who has that name. For 62. Then they made signs to his father to find out what he would like to name the child. And he asked for a writing tablet. And to everyone's astonishment, Luke says he wrote his name is John. Now this is why most commentators we've touched on this a little bit last week believe that Zachariah was both death and Newt even though the angel had said that he wouldn't be able to speak because they said here that they had to make signs to his father. If someone can hear that's just kind of a strange thing to do, right? I mean, you just use words, right? But they're using signs to get his attention and try to figure out what it is that he would like to name him. And so he asks for a tablet, he writes his name as John and follows through being faithful to what the angel had told him to name the child. And then we're told something absolutely incredible happens in that moment. Verse 64, says, immediately, his mouth was open and his tongue set free. And he began to speak praising God, all the neighbors were filled with all Luke says, And throughout the hill country of Judea, people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this, wondered about it and asked, What then is this child going to be for the Lord's hand was with them people started to recognize God must be up to something because this isn't normal activity. I mean, they could see about 10 months earlier that that Zachariah had walked into the temple. And at that particular time, he can hear it that particular time he can talk he comes out of the place, and he can't do either one of those things. His wife gets miraculously pregnant in her old age after not having been able to have kids their entire life, this child is born and then all of a sudden, he starts to talk again. And so they're going this isn't normal activity. God must be up to something in all of this. What is he doing? Who is this child going to be? And what is this all about? And we get to see a little bit of that here in a moment in the way that Zachariah responds to all that is going on in this moment. Luke says in verse 67, his father's Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. And so we're told that Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit he was in dwelt by the Holy Spirit, and that he was being inspired by the Holy Spirit to, to sing these words. These were prophetic words, this was prophecy. This was a declaration that the Holy Spirit was inspiring him to speak about of what God was going to do in the future through the current events that were happening right now, in this particular moment. Now, you may have noticed that the very first thing that Zachariah begins to sing about even though we're told this is prophecy, and something that God is going to do in the future is written in past tense, the sun that's going to happen, but he writes about it as if it already happened. Praise me to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. Now, Jesus hasn't technically come as far as being fully born yet, but he has been conceived. And so in that sense, he has already come. And then we do see here that if God says that he's going to do something, and he's inspiring someone to write or sing about what's going to happen in the future, it's pretty much as good as done, because God is a faithful God, and he is going to follow through with his promises. And the promise here is about redemption, which means that through the cross, Jesus was going to purchase his people from bondage out of the bondage that they and really all of us were, or maybe are still in, because that's what it means to be redeemed to buy back, someone is in a position of slavery, they're trapped, they can't do anything about the situation they're in the purchase price for this particular captivity was his life, which Jesus, of course, was willing to give, we know that as we continue to read the rest of the story that Luke tells us about here. And so what we see is that Jesus was born into this world to die. Here he was born into this world to die, so that he could redeem His people and, and think about where people had to be where all of us are, if we have to be rescued in such a way. Think about the captivity and being in bondage where you're, you're trapped and in darkness, you're in change, there's there's nothing that you can do about it. Think about the emotions that come with that the anxiety that's there, the the fear, that's there, the worry, the absolute unrest that you have in your soul, because there's nothing that you can do about the situation that you're in, you're trapped, and you're going to be there most likely, forever. absolute lack of peace and unrest, and you can try all you want to control your situation, to manufacture peace in your life in that moment to do something about it, but there's just nothing that you can do. So this is great news, that Zachariah is saying that God through the birth of this son, and the one that would come is going to redeem His people is going to free people from the bondage in the captivity that they could not break themselves out of. He goes on in verse 69, it talks a little bit more about it. He says he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he has said through his holy prophets have long ago now, a horn in the Old Testament was a symbol of power. You think about two rams who who have horns, right? And sometimes you see them both kind of backup, and then all of a sudden, they just start to charge and then they run into each other and they they collide in those horns. And in that moment, there's just this, this bang, this this power that you can hear and that you see and the impact that's being made in that moment. I read something this week, I assume it's true. Everything on the internet is true, right? I may be lying here, but I read something where someone said that that two rams colliding collide with 10 times the force of two human football players when they collide together. And you know, you and I have seen some pretty big hits probably on a football field or watching football on TV enough to make this kind of almost turn. Sometimes you go oh, man that looked like it hurt right? 10 times the force with those horns and rams coming in and bang. It's When we're seeing a horn of salvation, what would have gone off in the original audience's mind is power. This is one who is strong. This is one who is capable then strong enough and powerful enough to pull off what it is the Zachariah is seeing about that he will do He is powerful enough to actually redeem His people. Now this was talked about through the holy prophets of long ago, Zachariah even mentions here that this horn of salvation was going to be raised up from someone in the house of his servant David, which is pointing to the fact that Jesus would fulfill the Davidic Covenant, a symbol of power, this horn was a symbol of power that was even used for kings in the Old Testament. And so Zachariah is telling us that God is following through with this promise, this promise that he made hundreds of years earlier that this horn of salvation, was going to fulfill the Davidic Covenant and be the one who sits on the throne forever. To rule in terrain, he is a faithful, faithful God. So Zachariah mentions this horn of salvation that would show up and now he gets into the specifics of the kind of salvation that God would supply. Look at verse 71. First of all, he says, it's a salvation from our enemies of salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all, who hate us. Now, here's the thing about enemies. Enemies produce unrest in our lives. We go to war with enemies, and when you're at war, you don't ever rest. You're always at unrest, because you're always having to look over your shoulder for the one who might show up and jump out and attack you, right? So you don't ever get any rest. When you're at war. You have to constantly be looking out for your enemy, and what it is that they are going to do to you. As a matter of fact, if you try to sleep at war, you're going to sleep with one eye open, how much good sleep and rest Are you really going to get in a moment like that enemies produce unrest in our lives, but Zachariah is saying that the salvation this that this horn of salvation will supply will free them will free us from our enemies. Think about the peace that comes when you know your enemy has been taken care of. You no longer have to look over your shoulder, you no longer have to fear about them jumping out at you and attacking you. You no longer have to sleep with one eye open, you can close them both. And you can get deep, deep rest when your enemies have been taken care of. And this is the kind of salvation that Zachariah is saying, God would provide for you and for me. So that's the first thing he goes on in verse 72. It says that God would raise up a horn of salvation also to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father, Abraham, oh, what he's referring to here, what Zachariah is talking about is the the Abrahamic covenant that went even further back than the Davidic Covenant. We learned or can read about that in Genesis chapter 12, verse three verses say this, the Lord said to Abram, go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land, I will show you, I will make you God says into a great nation, and I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse and listen to this. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. God had made a promise, a promise, a covenant to build a nation to build the nation Israel and through them to bless all people on Earth in Zacharias saying that there's horn of salvation is the one who would fulfill that covenant that all people on the earth would be blessed through him, the one raised up through this covenant nation, this or this nation, Israel that he had built. So this horn of salvation will supply salvation from our enemies in the hands of all who hate us to show mercy to our ancestors to remember his holy covenant, or 74. Also, to rescue us from the hand of our enemies and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days now That would be quite an accomplishment, right? I mean, God is the only one whose Holy God is the only one who is truly right. And so to show up in his presence should certainly call some fear should certainly call some unrest and a lack of peace in our lives to stand before a holy and a perfect God. You can't show up and serve in worship a holy in a right and adjust in a perfect God. So for a horn of salvation, to pull that off, where we can serve him without fear, and in holiness and righteousness. Now, that would be quite an accomplishment. And yet that is exactly what the writers of the New Testament say, happen through Jesus's death and his resurrection. That when we put our faith and trust in Him, that Jesus comes to and dwell us after completely forgiving us. And then we enter into this spiritual union, where we are made holy now in and we are made righteous, not just seen as holy in him, not just seen as righteous, but made holy in him and made righteous in him. So if you're made holy, and you're made right with God, then guess what you can do without fear. You can serve Him, you can worship Him, you can enjoy intimacy with Him, you no longer have to be at unrest. You can enjoy peace with him. Zachariah after seeing about Jesus and prophetically singing about him here, turns his attention to his own child. Now, verse 76, and says in you, my child will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. In other words, he says, John might son that's being born in this moment, you are going to be a great pointer, you are going to point to Jesus point everyone to Jesus as the way of salvation, and for the forgiveness of sins of all people. We'll even see this happening as John grows up. And as Jesus grows up, and he begins his earthly ministry, John, when he writes his gospel, in the first chapter, verse 29, says, John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Now, when you and I say, look to someone else, what do we do 99.9% of the time when we say that, we point right look, and we point at what we want them to look at. So John, the Baptist sees Jesus and says, Look at Jesus, the one who will take away the sins of the world. And so John the Baptist, Zacharias saying would be born to be a pointer to point to Jesus who through the cross, and his finished work on the cross, would provide forgiveness of sins to anyone, anyone, regardless of who they are, where they've been, what it is that they've done, if they'll just receive Him by faith. Now, the question is, why would a holy and perfect God allow his one and only Son, to go all through all of those things and give the salvation away as a gift and Zechariah tells us in the next verse, because of the tender mercy of our God, because of the tender mercy of our God tender mercy here refers to deep seated personal emotions, deep seated, personal feeling here, especially compassion. In other words, there is a deep seated personal compassion that the God of the universe has for you. Personal it applies to everyone. But it's personal, to you, and to me, and to each and every one of them and us. So it's the tender mercy and out of that tender mercy of God that He goes on in the verse for seven, eight and says, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven, to shine on those living in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. I don't know if you guys ever saw it or not. There was a movie that came out not too long ago about the Thai boys soccer team that got trapped in a cave. If you didn't see the movie, you know what I'm talking about. There's no way you missed the story of the 12 kids who got trapped in a cave they the 12 kids and their coach went into a cave after practice one day they were doing some hiking and exploring it in while they're in there, I mean, it starts to rain, and it starts to rain a lot, so much so that it gets flooded and they get trapped in there, two and a half miles into the cave. I mean, they are deep into the cave, and it's flooded and there is no way out, it's completely dark. And they cannot do anything about the situation that you're in. Can you imagine the fear, the worry, the anxiety, the stress, the absolute unrest, that these guys we're in, we're trapped. There's no way out. And we don't know for how long it if we're ever going to be able to get out of here. Nine days later, some divers showed up, they went through and found that I don't know how many hours it took them to get through there and work their way back. But they finally showed up and they see the boys and these divers when they show up. They they had light in their darkness, the divers had the proper equipment, and the divers even knew the way out, they could tell the boys how to get out, they could give them the right equipment, they could shine a light in the darkness to even help them to see where it was that they would have to go. The only problem was is there's no way that these kids, even with the help of a guide, an expert guide would be able to get out of the situation that they were in, because they were completely incapable of pulling off the tasks. Only expert divers could pull off what it is that they were doing. And so even with someone who could show them the way, tell them what to do provide the right equipment, these guys were completely helpless to carry out the tasks and so the divers came up with a plan and the plan was that they would put them to sleep, they would have an anesthesiologist give them a shot to be able to put them under. And then the divers, the expert divers while they were asleep would carry them out. And so all the boys would have to do in that moment was make themselves available to be rescued. And these expert divers would do all the work of guiding them to the path of peace. And one by one. That's exactly what these divers did, until they got out and were freed from the bondage in the captivity, the darkness that they were all in. Guys, that is you. And that is me. We are all trapped. He says in the darkness, nothing that we could do is ever referred to it as the shadow of death. Right? This is the situation that we're all in. And sometimes people may show up with us being trapped in the darkness. And they may try to point the way out. And they may try to tell us this is the right thing to do. And this is how to get yourself out of the situation that we're in. But the only problem is, is sometimes those people don't really know the truth and how to get out themselves. But even those that do, once again, you and I are completely incapable of pulling off the task of what they're telling us we have to do to be able to get out. And so God sends the rising sun from heaven, Zacharias says to those of us living in darkness and in the shadow of death, and he does the work for us. All you and I have to do is make ourselves available to him, and he will rescue us. And when you and I make ourselves available to him he he puts us to sleep, if you will. He puts all the right equipment on us. And He guides us. And when we wake up, we've come to peace. This all happens in the moment of faith where we're born again. The old us is put to sleep in dies and we're raised up as someone new were rescued from the darkness. The apostle Paul even says in Colossians one For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Sun he loves in whom we have redemption for the forgiveness of sins. When you put your faith and trust in Jesus. He rescues you from the shadow of death that all of us find ourselves in because of our sin the problem the Apostle Paul would even write in Ephesians 214 That for he himself referring to Jesus is our peace, the moment we get rescued from the dominion of darkness, the captivity that we are held in, we have peace, because peace is found in a person, and his name is Jesus. And if you and I have put our faith and trust in Him, then we are in union with the one who is peace himself. So regardless of your situations, regardless of your circumstances, this time of year or whatever you drag into this end of year that you've been dealing with all year long, that certainly gets heightened, we know the lows become even lower. During this time, the stress gets even stress, you're this time of year and the anxiety and everything gets cranked up. And there is a complete lack of peace and unrest. Sometimes we see here today through the prophetic words of Zachariah, that Jesus is the peace and that you and I have it regardless of the situations regardless of the circumstances that we're in, you can stop trying to manufacture peace in your life. You don't have to control your situations, you don't have to control your circumstances and get to a certain place in your life, where you'll finally experience peace because those things begin to change. Peace is found in a person. And if you're in union with Him, you don't have to manufacture it in your life. You have it in your life. My hope and prayer for you today and throughout the rest of this season, is it. If you have said yes to Jesus, and you're in union with Him, you would experience that super natural peace as you lean on Him and trust in Him to be your peace. And my prayer. For those of you who have never said yes to Jesus is that you would say yes to him, he entered into this world for you out of His love and His tender mercy and His compassion for you, to give you peace when you've been hunting and searching for it, probably for a lifetime. And so would you receive it today, in walk out of here, being able to rest, I hope that you will, let's pray. Father, we are so grateful for your son, that you allowed your one and only Son to leave the glory and riches of having to come here to be born into this world to suffer and die so that we could ultimately have peace with you. You've broken down all of the barriers through what you accomplished on the cross Jesus, you offer us your life. Many of us in this room have received it and we have peace and yet we are desperately trying to manipulate others and control others in our own situations and circumstances to manufacture some peace in our lives because we feel so at unrest. Would you renew our minds to the truth this morning that we have you and that we have peace in our lives, no matter what is going on around us. Allow us to experience your supernatural peace that we have in our union with you. My Father, I pray for those who are here today maybe watching online today you have never said yes to Jesus, you would continue to open up their hearts to receive you, maybe even now in this moment. And Father as our ushers come to take up this offering during our time of response we give freely and sacrificially and willingly and generously to you to further your kingdom work here in this church and all throughout our community. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.