| Ashley Gilsdorf reads Luke 1:19-25 | Nate Smith sings Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence | Ben shares a meditation on the Law and the Gospel |
Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news!
But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the sanctuary, wondering why he was taking so long.
When he finally did come out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures and his silence that he must have seen a vision in the sanctuary.
When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home.
Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months.
“How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” [Luke 1:19-25]
Jesus Christ is the good news, He is the gospel. He is the one the entire Old Testament pointed to as the Savior of our souls. He alone fulfilled all the requirements of the law perfectly and lived a sinless life. The gospel saves us from the penalty of sin.
The law God gave Moses saves no one. It was a measuring stick by which we are able to see how badly we fail at making our own way back to God. The law doesn’t save us, it condemns us by showing us what righteousness looks like.
The exchange between Zechariah and Gabriel offers us a telling picture if we consider it through the lens of the law and the gospel.
Zechariah was a priest of God's people, educated in - and a minister of - the law of Moses. The same law that tells us how we must live and even think in order to be worthy of earning our way back to God. The law that shows us how often we earn the penalty of sin.
Gabriel was given the privilege of being the first to share the gospel. He announced the greatest work of God’s grace and love in all of history. Jesus the Messiah would be coming soon to save His people from sin and death, and Zechariah’s son would be His herald. The message spoke of John, but without Jesus, John wouldn’t matter. Jesus who had no sinful nature. Jesus who is fully human and fully God. Jesus who perfectly fulfilled the law and used His own life to build the bridge back to the God we rejected in Eden.
It is good that Gabriel silenced Zechariah.
It is good that the power of the Gospel that saves us silences the voice of the law that condemns us.
Father, thank You for Your patience and kindness. Thank you for giving us a law that reveals not only how badly we need a savior, but the unfathomable depth of Your love that You provided not just a savior, but Your own Son. Thank you for making a way where there was no way.