The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 1:56-68 ~ The Advent of John the Baptist, Pt. 1

Vol. 18, No. 03 – January 20, 2019

57-68 - The Advent of John the Baptist, Pt. 1The Gospel of Luke
Chapter 1

B.  The Announcement of the Birth of the Son of Man, Luke 1:26-56.

Vs. 56

In vs. 56, we see that Mary, MARIAM, stayed with her relative Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. This would place Mary either very close to the birth of John the Baptist or being there for his birth and then leaving, but the Scriptures do not give us that information, only the time frame. So, we are left to conjecture. This also places Mary at about 3-4 months, more likely closer to 4 months in her own pregnancy, when she returned home. “Returning to her own house,” may suggest she was not yet married to Joseph. As we will see in Chapter 2, she would remain in Nazareth for up to 5 months before beginning the journey to Bethlehem where she would give birth to her, and our, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In our outline of Chapter 1, we have already noted:

I. Preface: The Method and Purpose of Writing, vs. 1-4.

II. The Identification of the Son of Man with Men, vs. 5 – 4:13.

A. The Announcement of the Birth of John the Baptist, vs. 5-25.

B. The Announcement of the Birth of the Son of Man, vs. 26-56.

And now we conclude the chapter by noting:

C. The Advent of John the Baptist, vs. 57-80.

This section is made up of three parts:

1. The Birth of John and Rejoicing, vs. 57-58.

2. The Circumcision and Naming of John, vs. 59-66.

3. Zachariah’s Proclamation and Prophecy, vs. 67-80.

1. The Birth of John and Resultant Rejoicing, vs. 57-58.

Luke is the only Gospel writer to provide the events of John’s birth, just as he was for the announcement of John’s conception. In vs. 57-58, we see the fulfillment of the prophecy of Gabriel given to Zachariah back in vs. 5-25. This reminds us that every prophecy God makes, He fulfills, whether a short time duration prophecy such as this, or the longer durations prophecies like the 1st and 2nd Advents of Jesus Christ. God always fulfills His prophecies, and God always keeps His Word, even the promises given to you and I found in the Scriptures.

In vs. 58, we see that even though Elizabeth stayed in seclusion for the first 5 months of her pregnancy, vs. 24, shortly after Mary’s arrival they went public with the information to their “neighbors,”

PERIOIKOS, from the Preposition PERI, “around,” and OIKOS, “house.” It means, “around the house, living or dwelling around,” in the sense of physical location, not personal relationships, and therefore means, “neighbor.” It is only used here in the Bible; a hapaxlegomena. It is used only once in the LXX too for Deut 1:7.

With this, she also told her “relatives,” SUNGENES, cf. vs. 36, as was used regarding Elizabeth’s relationship to Mary. So, Elizabeth had other relatives living near her in the hill country of Judea.

Both her neighbors and relatives were told about her pregnancy, and now at giving birth to John, “the Lord,” KURIOS, “displayed,” MAGALUNO, (cf. vs. 46), or better “magnified and showed the power of,” something about Himself. This time, the thing magnified was God’s, “mercy toward her,” HO ELEOS AUTOS META AUTES. Remember, “mercy” is a response to someone else’s condition of distress. Here, it is the Lord’s activity on behalf of Elizabeth rooted in His compassion and mercy towards her. It is also an expression of His love. This mercy and expression of His love/compassion, was shown or magnified by allowing an older barren woman, Elizabeth, to conceive and give birth. And not just any birth, but to give birth to the forerunner of the Messiah.

Then we see that, “they were rejoicing with her.” “Rejoicing,” is the Imperfect, Active, Indicative of the Verb SUNCHAIRO that means, “rejoice with or congratulate.”  It includes a strong element of participating in the joy and well-being of another person. This also partially fulfills what Gabriel prophesied in vs. 14. The Progressive Imperfect tense is for ongoing past action that is in simultaneity with the birth of John, from Luke’s viewpoint; “they kept on rejoicing.” It is from the prefix SUN, “with,” and the Verb CHAIRO that means, “rejoice, be glad, welcome, or greet.”

Now, when a baby is born, everyone typically rejoices. Here, we have an older woman who was not able to conceive prior who has given birth, so the rejoicing is great. But, in this passage, we also see a community of faithful believers, as the context of their rejoicing is “they heard that the Lord magnified His great mercy.” “Heard,” is the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb AKOUO, and many times in Scripture means learning God’s Word through the ear gate. That is what they did, along with believing it, as now being expressed in their rejoicing. What a wonderful thing to have a community of faithful believers rejoicing in the Lord.

Principle: In a community of faithful believers, we are to rejoice at the blessings others receive, regardless of our own situation.

J. C. Ryle wrote, “There was mercy in bringing her safely through her time of trial. There was mercy in making her the mother of a living child. Happy are those family circles, whose births are viewed in this light—as special instances of the mercy of the Lord.”

The word “rejoice” using SUNCHAIRO is used in only 7 verses in the NT; the number of Spiritual Perfection. By reading each verse in the order it appears, we see the application of rejoicing that should also be in our lives.

  • We are to rejoice at the salvation of every unbeliever.

Luke 15:6, “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”

Luke 15:9, “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’”

  • We are to rejoice when our fellow believers are blessed by God.

1 Cor 12:26, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

  • We are to rejoice in and with the Word of God.

1 Cor 13:6, “Does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.”

  • We are to rejoice when enduring underdeserved suffering for blessing for the Lord.

Phil 2:17, “But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.”

Phil 2:18, “You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.”

As every one of these Scriptures tells us, we are to rejoice with others; our friends, relatives, co-workers, community, and especially our fellow members of the body of Christ. And remember, all children are gifts of God’s mercy, no matter the circumstance. Psa 127:3, “Behold, sons are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” We all should receive children with the joy that Elizabeth received John. We all should recognize children as God’s mercy to us, be thankful, and rejoice in them and in Him.

We can also take away from this that Elizabeth’s prior caution was most likely unfounded, as the community celebrates what the Lord has done. Rather than being concerned that they would reject the Word of God, she should have told them right away. It appears that Mary’s presence and further encouragement with her own news caused them to be emboldened to share the Word with others.

Principle: Sometimes, our hesitation to witness is unfounded too, when in fact people will respond to our witness. So, stop trying to over analyze the situation by gauging whether people will accept your witness or not, and just let the words flow, leaving it in God’s hands to take it from there.

Religious Freedom Day is this Wednesday, January 16.

January 16 is nationally recognized as Religious Freedom Day, commemorating Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Statute for Religious Freedom. Jefferson drafted it in 1777, it was introduced in the Virginia Assembly in 1779, and ultimately shepherded by James Madison through the Assembly and enacted on January 16, 1786. George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776 and

Jefferson’s Statute laid the foundation for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which enshrines in law the freedom of religion for all Americans.

Here is a short video to commemorate our founding father’s establishment of religious freedom within our nation.

2. The Circumcision and Naming of John, vs. 59-66.

Here we have the story of John’s circumcision and naming. Circumcision was a mandate from God first to Abraham to represent the covenant God made with him to provide a great nation from him. Gen 17:9-14; and secondly, to be in accordance with the Mosaic Law that came hundreds of years later to ratify that relationship, Lev 12:3; Acts 7:8.

Acts 7:8, “And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.”

It was a physical representation of being entered into the new racial species God had created in Abraham, the Jewish race called Israel. It was a commemoration of that great grace blessing from God. That physical representation of a new racial species was a type of the New Spiritual Species, (new creation, new creature, 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15), God creates in the Church Age believer upon salvation. It is a picture of regeneration; Abraham’s sexual regeneration typifies our spiritual regeneration found in Jesus Christ. Therefore, circumcision was also a picture of salvation. Yet, as a ritual, circumcision has no meaning to the Jew who rejects Christ as Savior, for ritual without reality is meaningless. Unfortunately, many believing Jews after Christ’s ascension, falsely insisted upon Gentile believers being circumcised, Acts 15:1-34, which Paul soundly refuted, Rom 2:25-29; Gal 5:1-6; 6:12-15; Col 2:11.

Gal 5:2, “Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.”

Gal 5:3, “And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.”

Gal 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”

Gal 6:15, “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”

Col 2:11, “And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.”

The believer receives a spiritual circumcision upon faith in Jesus Christ. It is the removal of the sin barrier that kept us from a relationship with God. The Baptism of the Spirit at salvation and the resultant Positional Sanctification is the only circumcision of the Church Age.

Phil 3:3, “For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.”

Circumcision as a ritual, in the ritual plan of God for the dispensation of Israel, no longer exists. Yet, at that time, for the Jew, (as it continues to be today), circumcision was the memorial sign between God and the Jewish race. But, only with Bible doctrine in the soul was circumcision meaningful to them. This too was an OT doctrine. Because of the tendency to rely on the mere physical outward sign of inclusion in the covenant, to the neglect of the demand to believe in and serve God, several passages of the OT reiterate the need to be “circumcised in the heart,” Deut 10:16; Jer 4:4, cf. Rom 2:29. It is not enough to show only outward adherence to God; one must believe and live as a faithful servant of God. So, even in the OT, circumcision identified a relationship with God spiritually.

Deut 10:16, “So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.”

Jer 4:4, “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else My wrath will go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.”

That is why we see Zachariah and Elizabeth taking their son to be circumcised at this time, because they understood their relationship to God, to Abraham, the Law, and more importantly, the meaning behind the ritual, just as we will see Jesus being circumcised in Chapter 2. It was a great demonstration of their faithfulness, which is also shown in the rest of this section.

Next, we see the process of naming Zachariah’s and Elizabeth’s baby. “Typically Jewish children were named at birth (cf. Genesis 4:25; 21:3, et al.). Some have suggested this account more closely resembles the Hellenistic custom of waiting seven to ten days before naming a child. In addition, there is no written record of naming children in association with circumcision until the Eighth Century A.D. In addition, while there is no record that it was common at this time for friends and family to be involved in the naming of a child, a similar scenario appears in Ruth 4:17.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

Remember, at this time Zachariah was still mute and deaf from the discipline he received for wavering in his faith back in vs. 18-20. They both wanted to call their son John, according to Gabriel’s command from vs. 13, but the people thought he was going to be named after his father, Zachariah. So, in vs. 60, Elizabeth speaks up and tells them his name would be “John.” Because of Zachariah’s muteness, he was not able to speak up at this time, so Elizabeth had to. The people thought this name to be strange, vs. 61, since no one in their family was named John. Naming children based on family names, especially after the father or grandfather, was a common practice of the day. In addition, naming was sometimes associated with dominion or rule; this child will be under God’s rule, not man’s as God is the one who named him John.

But, in vs. 60, Elizabeth strongly objected “No indeed,” with the emphatic OUCHI, when in accordance with the angel’s message, Elizabeth instructed everyone what he would be “called,” using the Future, Passive, Indicative with an imperative force of the Verb KALEO, “called, named, etc..” She stated that her child’s name would be “John,” IOANNES, Ἰωάννης, which is a proper noun transliterated from the Hebrew YOCHANAN that means, “YHWH-given or YHWH has been gracious.”

In vs. 61, part of the reason for the people questioning this name was that no one in their family had the name John. Typically, people were named after their relatives in honor of their “relatives;” the Noun SUNGENEIA, only used here and in Acts 7:3, 14, where it refers to relatives in the extended families of Abraham and Joseph respectively.

In, vs. 62, because no relatives had the name John and it was not customary for the mother to name the child, to confirm this, because he was also deaf, they “made signs” to Zachariah to ask him what to name the boy. This was ironic given that at the announcement of the pregnancy of Elizabeth, Zachariah was looking for a sign to be certain that what Gabriel was telling him was true, due to his lack of faith, vs. 18-20. So here, they are giving him “signs” to ask what his son’s name would be. “They made signs” is the Progressive Imperfect, Active, Indicative for ongoing simultaneous action of the Verb ENNEUO, ἐννεύω that means, “to nod, make signs, or signify.” It is only used here in the NT.

Next, in vs. 63, Zachariah asks for something to write on, PINAKIDION, (a small wooden tablet with a wax or possibly a parchment coating, which too is only used here in the NT), so he could respond to their signaled question. I love the forcefulness of Zachariah’s response. He could have just written, “John,” but he writes, “his name is John,” Boom! End of discussion!

When he wrote this, “they were all astonished,” using the Verb THAUMAZŌ, θαυμάζω that means, “to wonder, marvel at, admire, be astonished, or be amazed.” The people’s reaction reflects the finality and authority of Zachariah’s response. It also continues the aura of mystery and wonder that Luke gives to the birth and life of John the Baptist. Interestingly, most of the usages of the word THAUMAZO have to do with people’s reaction to the healing activity and miraculous power of Jesus Christ. And, don’t you know that Zachariah was healed of his muteness and deafness right after this, vs. 64.

In vs. 64, following Zachariah’s faithfulness to the message of Gabriel, he was healed “at once” or “immediately,” the Adverb PARACHREMA, (that is also used predominately in healing narratives). The words of the angel Gabriel from vs. 20, came true. His prophecies are once again fulfilled; God is faithful to His Word!

“Luke adds emphasis to this event by means of a literary device called a zeugma (i.e., the use of a word [“opened”] with two other words in a given context [“mouth,” and “tongue”] of which only one is appropriately used [“mouth”]).” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary).

So, we see that at the precise moment of Zachariah’s faith and obedience to the Word of God, in mercy, God lifted his punishment and freed Zachariah’s mouth, and we can assume restored his hearing too. Just as when the unbeliever demonstrates faith in Jesus Christ by believing in Him, God frees him from the slave market of sin and gives him salvation. Likewise, when we demonstrate faith in God to rebound, 1 John 1:9, and recover, God restores our fellowship with Him and turns our discipline into blessing.

Principle: When we are faithful and obedient to God’s Word, His mercy comes into our lives, even when under judgment or discipline.

Then, as is also customary in Luke’s writings, the first thing Zachariah does is “praise God,” EULEGEO THEOS. We have noted this verbal aspect of praise in vs. 28 and 42.

Here, we have a principle of suffering and enduring God’s discipline. Our suffering will either make us bitter or make us better. It made Zachariah better. He had learned more about his own heart and about God, than he ever knew before. The proof of that is the praise for God that leaped from his mouth that very instance.

How are we handling our suffering? Is it working in us deeper thoughts of God’s goodness, or harder thoughts about our circumstance? Are we growing warmer or colder toward God?

Now at this point, Luke could have gone on to give us Zachariah’s great proclamation found in vs. 67-79, and in fact, the “speaking,” LALEO, Luke references in this verse, is just that. But, before Luke gives us the proclamation, he tells us of the impact all of this had on Zachariah’s relatives, neighbors, and those living in the surrounding region in vs. 65-66.

In vs. 65, as a result of Zachariah’s healing and speech, “fear,” PHOBOS, “came on all those living around them,” using the Verb PERIOIKEO, “dwell around,” which is only used here in the NT, as we noted the Adjective in vs. 58. We could say, “their neighbors,” which is the group we noted in vs. 58.

Yet, this “fear” reached even more people than did the previous rejoicing of their neighbors, as it included all those living in the “hill country of Judea,” ORIENOS HO IOUDAIA, of which ORIENOS, “hilly or mountainous,” is only used here and in vs. 39, in the NT, as we noted previously. The reaction of those gathered was one of a deep reverence and awe at what God had done, cf. Luke 5:26; 7:16; Acts 2:43; 5:11; 19:17.

The phrase, “being talked of,” is the Progressive Imperfect, Passive, Indicative of the Verb DIALALEO that means, “discuss or converse together,” that is only used here and Luke 6:11. In Luke 6:11, it is used for the Pharisees plotting to get rid of Jesus, so it carries somewhat of a negative connotation of “continuous talk back and forth between people.” We do not see the rejoicing here by the people, but more of a perplexity as to what was going on, as also seen in vs. 66. Nevertheless, we do see in their hearts a respect and awe at what God was doing.

Another important Lukan theme begins to appear in this verse, i.e., miracles as catalysts for the proclamation of the good news, “Luke 2:17; 4:37; 5:15; 7:17; 8:39; etc.” This event had moved the people deeply. Their awe over what had happened to Zachariah and Elizabeth caused them to commit these things to their memory and speak about them to others.

Kept in mind” in the Greek it says, “laid up in their heart.” This is an idiom meaning, “to store information in the mind, with the implication of its being valuable.” Mary would later respond in a similar way at Jesus’ response to her and Joseph when they found Him in the temple, Luke 2:51. Hopefully, the people of the hill country of Judea were cycling this doctrine in the right lobe of their souls. The question they were pondering was, “What then will this child turn out to be?” Luke used PAIDION for “child” that means, “young child or infant,” and the Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative of EIMI, for “will be?” This reflects that they were not quite sure what this child would do or accomplish, maybe only in detail, but still understanding he was to be the forerunner to the Christ.

Principle: When you receive the Word of God, it should cause you to want to delve further into it, with a desire to know more. Questioning is not a sign of unbelief. It may be if the questioner has an attitude of antagonism. Yet, those who question typically have a heart and desire to know more, which God will provide to those who are positive in their volition.

Then we have Luke’s closing comment, which hopefully was also in the heart of the people of the hill country. It was, “for the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.” Cf. Acts 11:21; 13:11; Ezek 1:3; 3:14, 22, as the “hand of the Lord,” CHEIR KURIOS, was the Greek translation of a common OT phrase. It is only used three times in the NT, here and in Acts 11:21; 13:11. This means that the demonstrated power of God was with John the Baptist for all to see and know, and that God had a plan for his life. This is also true of every believer. God’s power is available for you 24/7, and He definitely has a plan for your life!

Acts 11:21, “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.”

3. Zachariah’s Proclamation and Prophecy, vs. 67-80.

This was Zachariah’s great psalm of praise as to what God was doing through Mary’s son and his own. In vs. 67, like his wife Elizabeth in vs. 41, we see that he had the enduement of the Holy Spirit, (PLETHO PNEUMA HAGIOS), which is the temporary empowering, enabling ministry of God the Holy Spirit for Jewish Dispensation saints. With this empowerment, he “prophesied,” the Verb PROPHETEUŌ προφητεύω that means, “prophesy, speak by Divine inspiration, foretell the future, or be a prophet.” It is used about 30 times in the NT to mean, “proclaim a revelation or message received from God.” Here, it was the message of the coming Messiah and His forerunner.

In vs. 68, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people.” Zachariah begins by praising God, just as we all should begin our prayers or psalms with praise to God. Here, Luke used the Adjective EULOGETOS that means, “blessed or praised.” The object of his praise is, “the Lord God of Israel,” KURIOS HO THEOS ISRAEL. He then states the reason for this praise, which is also the main principle that runs throughout the proclamation, “He visited us and accomplished redemption for His people.

This “visited,” is not directly speaking of the First Advent of Jesus Christ, per se. It is speaking more of the mercy that God has had and is now displaying towards man. It is the Greek Verb EPISKEPTOMAI, ἐπισκέπτομαι that means “look for, inspect, visit, look after, etc.,” that is also used in vs. 78, for “visit.”  Here, it is referencing God the Father “looking down on” or “inspecting” man and finding him wanting due to sin. Because of this need and God’s great mercy, He will provide a Savior in His Son that is emphasized throughout this psalm of praise, as we see in vs. 78.

Then we see what God will do, “accomplished redemption,” that uses the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb POIEO meaning, “the work” of God “completed.” The work that God had completed was “redemption,” the payment of our sins.

It is wonderful how Zachariah praised God from a past tense view point, even though God was just now sending the Savior and His forerunner into the world. Zachariah knew of and proclaimed God’s great plan of salvation through redemption from the view point of God’s perspective; omniscience. Zachariah was viewing it from the view point of eternity past, as already being completed or accomplished, just as God views it as completed from the foundation of the world, cf. Heb 4:3; 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20; Eph 1:4.

Heb 4:3, “For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, ‘As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,’ although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.”

Heb 9:26, “Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

1 Peter 1:20, “For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”

Eph 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him, in love.”

Zachariah was now standing in great faith, as opposed to his previous doubting unfaithfulness. He learned a lot about God and His great plan during his time of silence.

Redemption,” is the Noun LUTROSIS that means, “release, deliverance, or redemption.” It comes from LUTROO, which means, “to release by paying a ransom or to redeem.” LUTROO is from the root LUO, a primary verb meaning, “to loose, to release, or to dissolve.” So, LUTROSIS comes to mean, “a ransoming, a redemption.” It is only used here and Luke 2:38; Heb 9:12.

Heb 9:12, “And not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

In the NT, “redemption” is typically the Greek Noun APOLUTROSIS that means the same as LUTROSIS, with the emphasis of a ransom paid. It means to release on payment of ransom, so, APOLUTROSIS comes to mean a release affected by payment of ransom. The prefix APO means, “off or away.” It usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc., Luke 21:28; Rom 3:24; 8:23; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph 1:7, 14; 4:30; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15.

We also have the word “ransom,” which is the Greek noun LUTRON, from LUO, “to loosen with,” that is, a redemption price that figuratively means atonement. So, LUTRON comes to mean, “ransom.” Used in Mat 20:28; Mark 10:45.

The Verbs AGORAZO, “to buy or to purchase in the market,” (AGORA = slave marketplace), and EXAGORAZO, “to purchase from the slave market or to completely and totally liberate a slave from the slave market.”

AGORAZO, ἀγοράζω is used thirty-one times, meaning to be in the AGORA or place of assembly and market, hence to buy for one’s self by a price freely paid, cf. 1 Cor 6:20; 7:23; Rev 5:9.

1 Cor 6:20, “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

1 Cor 7:23, “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.”

Rev 5:9, “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation’.”

EXAGORAZO, ἐξαγοράζω used four times meaning, “to purchase out of the market not to return,” cf. Gal 3:13; 4:5; Eh 5:16; Col 4:4,

Gal 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’.”

Gal 4:5, “So that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

Therefore, in the use of LUTROSIS, it is linked to God’s mercy and grace, and the resulting redemption. Thus, it can overlap with SOTERIA, “salvation” or “deliverance.” It is speaking of the payment of our sins. APOLUTROSIS is also used that way, but can also emphasize the eschatological redemption, which is not the forgiveness of your sins, Eph 1:7; Col 1:14, but the final future salvation from the present evil world, Gal 1:4. But, to get to the eschatological redemption, God through Jesus Christ had to first redeem our sins, which is Zachariah’s emphasis.


In the doctrine of salvation, there are three key concepts: redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation. The phrase “The blood of Christ,” applies to all three doctrines.

1. Redemption is toward sin. There are three theological words that actually describe this concept: redemption, expiation, and unlimited atonement. These always deal with sin as a problem in our relationship with God.

2. Reconciliation is always directed toward mankind. Man is reconciled to God by the death of His Son.

3. Propitiation is directed toward God, meaning that the justice of God the Father is satisfied with the work of Christ on the cross.

Redemption emphasizes the fact that we are sinners, not only by choice or volition, but long before that we were sinners at the point of birth because of our Old Sin Nature and the imputation of Adam’s original sin. We had to be condemned before we could be saved.

Redemption is viewed from the standpoint of a ransom paid on the Cross for our salvation. Redemption views mankind as born into the slave market of sin through the imputation of Adam’s original sin at birth, and redemption is the saving work of Christ on the Cross by which He purchases our freedom or salvation. The currency used for this ransom purchase is called the “blood of Christ,” Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

Eph 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

Col 1:14, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

1 Peter 1:18-19, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”

The blood of Christ depicts, by analogy, the saving work of Christ on the Cross, 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24. It also depicts unlimited atonement and reconciliation.

In order to become our Redeemer, Christ had to become a member of the human race. He could not save us as God, because whoever is the redeemer must be judged for the sins of the world and God cannot be judged for sin. Therefore, through the virgin birth, by becoming a man without sin of His own, and remaining impeccable, 2 Cor 5:21, Jesus Christ was qualified to be our Redeemer.

In Zachariah’s psalm of praise, he was proclaiming the Doctrine of Redemption as taught in the OT by means of the animal blood sacrifices, Heb 9:22.

Heb 9:22, “And according to the standard of the law, nearly all things are cleansed with animal blood, and without the pouring out of blood there is no forgiveness.”

OT believers like Job, applied the Doctrines of Redemption and Resurrection to their circumstances, Job 19:25.

Job 19:25, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that He shall stand in the latter day upon the earth.”

In recalling redemption, he was looking at the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross; in recalling resurrection, he was looking at the somatic or physical death of Christ on the Cross, which anticipated His resurrection.

David said in Psa 34:22, “The Lord redeems the soul of His servants.” It is the soul of the believer that is redeemed at salvation, not the body; otherwise we would never die physically. There is no human spirit until after salvation.

As such, redemption removes the condemnation of the Mosaic Law, Gal 3:10-13; Gal 4:5-6; cf. Deut 21:23.

Gal 3:13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us. For it stands written, (Deut 21:23), ‘cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’.”

In Gal 4:5‑6, redemption from the condemnation of the Law results in the Biblical Doctrine of Adoption into the eternal family of God, cf. Rom 8:23.

Gal 4:4-5, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#19-004, 19-005 & 19-006

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If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,

died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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