When the Silence is Broken - Advent 2018, Week One
According to the dictionary ‘Advent’ is defined as an arrival. It’s the coming or arriving of someone or something. But when we speak of Advent in the church, we are generally referring to a very specific arrival, the most significant arrival of all time, the arrival of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Advent season, the four weeks leading up to Christmas is a time set aside for us to think about the meaning of the coming of Christ. It’s a time to try and put ourselves in the shoes of those who lived before His coming, who looked forward in anticipation to His arrival.
While we can look back and see the whole progression, from promise to fulfillment, it is important for us to understand what it would have been like to live in waiting, longing for the fulfillment of the promises of God that were still laden with mystery (Colossians 1:26; 1 Peter 1:10-11).
Advent and the Story of Zechariah
As we try and understand what it must have been like to anticipate the arrival of the Messiah it’s helpful for us try and see the promises of God through the eyes of those who lived during the time of waiting. But it’s also helpful to see responses of those who lived when the arrival of the promised One came to pass. One person who bridges the gap, who understood the wait and also experienced the arrival of the Messiah is a man named Zechariah.
As a priest of Israel Zechariah knew as well as anyone the promises of salvation that had been given to the nation of Israel. He lived most of his life in the period of waiting, but in his old age he saw the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promises.
Our season of Advent will be spent looking at the coming of Christ through the perspective and prophecy of Zechariah, especially Luke 1:67-79. But this first message is focused on who Zechariah is and the story that leads up to His prophetic speech (Luke 1:5-25, 57-80).