December 17:  The Silence of the Priest

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Luke 1:1-25, 57-80

As a priest Zechariah was scheduled to serve in the temple in Jerusalem for two weeks out of the year.  On one particular occasion, it was his responsibility to go into the temple to burn incense to the Lord.  This was an honor that came once in a lifetime.  But when Zechariah entered the temple, at the right side of the altar of incense stood an angel of the Lord named Gabriel.

dec 17“Don’t be afraid,” Gabriel said.  It was a small comfort, but Zechariah had no time to think as the angel continued, “The cry of your heart has been heard.”

It wasn’t just his cry for a son that the Lord had answered.  God was responding to the cry of his people for deliverance.  He meant to use this son to prepare the way for the coming of his Redeemer.  

But Zechariah wanted proof.  “We’re so old.  How can I know this will happen?”

…Zechariah would be plunged deep into a world of silence, unable to speak, where he would remain until the birth of this promised child.

…God used this silence to persuade the old man that God was sending his salvation to his people, and that this miracle baby was brought into the world to herald the Messiah’s coming.

Excerpt taken from Behold the Lamb of God by Russ Ramsey.

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