Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 178 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 1 today and our focus is on Why Did Jesus Come? To Shine Light on Those Living in Darkness. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Stockholm, Sweden, Jammu and Kashmir, India, parts unknown, Nepal, Ontario, Canada, Columbus, Ohio, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fort Worth, Texas and Providence, Rhode Island.  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Today’s passage is long, so we don’t have much time for a lot of commentary, but Luke chapter 1 is so significant and wonderful that not a lot of commentary is needed. We see many amazing things in this passage, including our introduction to Zechariah and Elizabeth and their son John the Baptist, our introduction to Mary and Joseph, and the pronouncement of the birth of Jesus. Our focus is on the very last part of Luke 1: Zechariah’s prophecy about the coming of Jesus and why He was coming:

78 Because of our God’s merciful compassion,
the dawn from on high will visit us
79 to shine on those who live in darkness
and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Jesus is the Dawn or the Sunrise – the one who brings the Light of God to a world living in darkness and the shadow of death. HOW is Jesus a bringer of light who shines on those in darkness? HOW will He rescue people from the shadow of death? By forgiving sins. As Paul tells us, the sting of death is sin, but sin loses its power in the light of the wonderful forgiveness purchased by Jesus when He was hung on a tree and destroyed the grave. Here is Spurgeon on this prophecy of Zechariah:

OBSERVE how Zacharias, in this his joyful song, extolled the remission of sins, as one of the most extraordinary proofs of the tender mercy of our God. He had been dumb for a season, as a chastisement for his unbelief; and therefore he used his recovered speech to sing of pardoning mercy. No salvation is possible without forgiveness, and so Zacharias says, “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.” The Lord could not forgive them on the ground of justice, and therefore he did so because of his tender mercy—the tender mercy of our God, who has made himself “our God “by the covenant of grace. He passes by the transgression of his people because he delighteth in mercy. At the very outset, I want any soul here that is burdened with sin to believe in the forgiveness of sins, and to believe in it because God is love, and has a great tenderness towards the work of his hands. He is, so pitiful that he loves not to condemn the guilty, but looks with anxious care upon them to see how he can turn away his wrath and restore them to favour. For this reason alone there is remission of sins. Forgiveness comes not to us through any merit of ours, present or foreseen; but only through the tender mercy of our God, and the marvellous visit of love which came of it. If he be gracious enough to forgive our sins, it can be done; for every arrangement is already made to accomplish it. The Lord is gracious enough for this—for anything. Behold him in Christ Jesus, and there we see him as full of compassion.

C. H. Spurgeon, “‘The Tender Mercy of Our God,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 32 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1886), 349.

Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.

Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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