I want you to open the Scripture, this morning, to the first chapter of the gospel of Luke. Luke chapter 1, Luke chapter 1, this is a long chapter, it has 80 verses in it. We're just going to go to the very end of it and I want to read you the closing words of this chapter, words that fit perfectly into the little series we're doing to lay the groundwork for our study of Christ in the Old Testament. We've called this little series, "Finding the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament." This would be message number four in that brief series, which is really the foundation of the groundwork for going to the Old Testament and finding Christ in all the places that He has so majestically presented there.
But the text that is before us we'll pick up in Luke chapter 1 at the point of the birth of John the Baptist that would be verse 57.
"The time had come for Elizabeth to give birth and she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her and they were rejoicing with her. And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child and they were going to call him Zacharias after his father.
"But his mother answered and said, 'No, indeed, but he must be called John.' And they said to her, 'There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.' And they made signs to his father as to what he wanted him called. And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, 'His name is John.' And they were all astonished. And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he began to speak in praise of God. Fear came on all those living around them and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "What then will this child turn out to be? For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
"And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David, His servant.
"As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us, to show mercy toward our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to Abraham, our father, to grant us that we being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins because of the tender mercy of our God with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us to shine upon those who sit in darkness in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel."...