Luke 1:57-80 WHERE THE RAYS OF HEAVEN'S SUNRISE REACH
Intro: This is a chapter filled with the miraculous! The angel Gabriel appears
to Zacharias and to Mary telling them both of impending births. Zacharias
doubts words of the angel and is left speechless, v. 18-22. Later, when the
baby is born, Zacharias calls his name John, v. 63. This is in obedience to
the command of the angel, v. 13. Now, Zacharias' speech is restored and
he lifts his voice in praise to the Lord. In this incredible paragraph of praise,
this old man of God glorifies the Lord, v. 68; speaks of the coming Messiah,
v. 68-75; give a prophecy concerning his son, v. 76-78a; and concludes by
mentioning the "dayspring from on high", v. 78-79. The word "dayspring"
means "sunrise". This is a direct reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus
is pictured as he sun rising upon a world trapped in darkness. Tonight, I
would like to dwell on verses 78-79. These verses tell us about the rays of
Heave's Sunrise and what they accomplish. We are told that about three
areas of life that are dramatically changed by the warmth of the rays of
Heaven's Sunrise. Allow me to take a few minutes this evening and show
you Where The Rays Of Heaven's Sunrise Reach.
I. HE BRINGS THE LIGHT OF LIBERTY TO THOSE IN DARKNESS
A. Jesus came to a world that was bound in spiritual darkness! The
Jewish religion had degenerated until it was nothing more than a
religion of formalism and legalism. The spiritual aspect of their
religion had long since passed away. It was a dark spiritual day when
Jesus came into the world!
(Ill. God did not send His Son into the midst of a great spiritual revival.
He sent Him to those who were floundering around in darkness.
However, many saw the light of Jesus and were led out of darkness
in that day. Think of Matthew, Peter, Andrew, James and John.
Remember Mary Magdalene, the Gadarene Demoniac, even Mary
His mother, Luke 1:46-47, and all the others who were delivered from
darkness by the light of the life of the Sunrise of Heaven.)
B. Things haven't changed! In fact, the world may be in a darker spiritual
condition today than it was then! We have more light! Think of all the
Bibles and all the churches we have. However, the darkness of the
world has millions trapped. Why? Because men love the darkness
more than they love the light, John 3:19. Men need the light of Jesus
to shine in their lives to make them free. (Ill. The darkness of this
world is plain to see, both in the sins of mankind and in the sins of the
C. The good news is that not everyone is trapped in darkness this
evening! Do you remember the day the Light of God shined into the
darkness of your life? Do you remember what it was like to see
yourself as you really were and know that God offered you light, hope
and life? (Ill. What the Lord did for you and for me - 1 Pet. 2:9; 2 Cor.
D. The good news this evening is that Jesus came to bring light into our
lives. We do not have to stumble around in the darkness any longer.
We can walk in the light of life. Jesus Christ came to bring light to the
I. He Brings The Light Of Liberty To Those In Darkness
II. HE BRINGS THE LIGHT OF LIFE TO THOSE UNDER DEATH
A. The Bible tells us here that Jesus came to bring His light into the very
shadow of death. Death is a fearful thing! However, we all live under
its shadow, Heb. 9:27. The fact is, if the Lord doesn't come, we will all
face death one day! The bottom line is this: None of us is more than
a heartbeat away from eternity at any given moment!
B. However, we need not fear death! We must always remember that
the Lord Jesus faced death for us, 2 Cor. 5:14-15, and that by rising
from the dead, Matt. 28:1-6, He conquered death on our behalf.
Therefore, we do not need to fear death, 1 Cor. 15:53-58! Death is
nothing more than a doorway through which we pass from this world
into the presence of the Lord in Heaven. It is no more to be feared
than a shadow on the wall, Psa. 23:4.
C. Since the Rays of Heaven's Sunrise have shone upon the cold shores
of death, death for the believer has become a blessed thing! God
describes it this way, Psa. 116:15. When death comes to the child of
God, it isn't a monster to be feared. It is, however, a friend to be
embraced! Notice the attitude of the Apostle Paul when he faced the
hour of His death, 2 Tim. 4:6-8. He described his death as a
"departure". As I have shared in the past, this is a very expressive
word. It was used by armies when it was time to strike their tents.
Sailors used it to refer to losing the moorings and setting sail.
Travelers used it to refer to the end of a journey, when the horses were
put into the stable. Those in the legal professions used it to refer to the
freeing of prisoners. Paul doesn't face his death with a spirit of fear,
notice verse 8. Paul knows there is more to come after he passes
through death's shadow! Believe me, it will be better on the other side!
D. If you still aren't convinced, just remember how death reacted around
the Lord Jesus. Jesus attended four funerals, (Jairus' daughter, the
widow of Nain's son, Lazarus, and His own burial), while here on earth,
and each time He changed the funeral into a time of rejoicing because
He raised the dead! Every where the Light of life traveled, death had
to flee! If you are in Jesus this evening, death has no claim on you!
Jesus conquered death for you forever - John 11:25-26; John 5:24.
We may lay down these temporary bodies, but something better is
waiting the other side, 2 Cor. 5:1-8.
I. He Brings The Light Of Liberty To Those In Darkness
II. He Brings The Light Of Life To Those Under Death
III. HE BRINGS THE LIGHT OF LEADERSHIP TO THOSE WITHOUT
A. None of us know how to walk for God as we should! Left to ourselves
and our own devices, we merely tend to wander farther away from
God, Isa. 53:6. In fact, the Bible teaches us that following our own
ways leads nowhere but to death, Pro. 16:25.
B. Jesus came to give us the light of His guidance. When we received
Him as our Savior, we were given 3 Heavenly helpers that make the
difference between us knowing where we are going and us just
wandering aimlessly around.
1. He Gave Us A New Heart - (Ill. The natural heart is a wicked thing,
Jer. 17:9.) Jesus made us a new creation, 2 Cor. 5:17. He gave us
a heart that is hungry for Him, Col. 3:2.
2. He Gave Us The Holy Spirit - John 16:13. The Spirit of God, Who
dwells in the heart of every believer, John 14:16-17, gives direction
and leadership as we go through life. No more are we left to the
devices of the flesh and of the devil. The Spirit knows the mind of
the Father and guides un in ways that please the Lord!
3. He Gave Us The Word Of God - When we were saved, the Lord
gave us a heart to follow Him, His Spirit within us to guide us, and
He gave us His perfect Word to teach us of His ways and of His will
for our lives. This blessed old Book will never lead the saint of God
astray, but will ever supply the guidance needed to get us safely
home to Heaven, Psa. 119:105. Ill. Pro. 6:23; Psa. 18:28.
C. Now, We do not have to founder around in the dark, but we have the
tools and the help we need to walk in the Lord light day by day. And
that, my friends, is the place of greatest blessing, 1 John 1:7.
Conc: What is the goal of all this work of the rays of Heaven's Sunrise in our
lives? To bring us to the place of perfect peace! God wants me to have
peace about my spiritual condition, that I am no longer in darkness. He
wants me to have peace about death, so that I am not terrified of that day,
but so that I can face it in the steadfast confidence that He has conquered
death for me forever. He wants me to have peace in my life today, so that
i will know that He will never leave me, for forsake me, but that He will guide
me safely through the valleys and hard places of life. Peace is a precious
gift! So precious, in fact, that it literally passes all understanding, Phil. 4:7.
I don't know where this message finds you. In darkness, afraid of the future,
or unsure about today, but I know that where ever you are, there is help, and
there is hope in the Person of Heaven's Sunrise! Will you come into His
Light this evening and find the help you need?