PREPARING FOR THE BIRTH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST:THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL
by Evangelist Larry Wolfe, Dec 20, 2016
The prophet Isaiah throughout his writings entitles the coming Messiah–our Lord Jesus Christ–the “Holy One” although he uses this significant name interchangably for God the Father. This title, Isaiah’s favorite, is used a total of twenty-nine times beginning in the very first chapter of his most significant prophecy, most significant because of it’s intense focus on our Lord Jesus. This attribute of the character of God is in fact more than just an attribute, for holiness is the primary word used to describe the very essence of our God.
It is not surprising therefore that the preparation for the Holy One’s birth would be saturated in holiness as described in Luke chapter one. From the very outset, when Zacharias was visited by the holy angel as he was ministering in the holy place at the altar of incense, God’s holy angel underlined the fact that Zacharias’ son would ‘be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.’
Another of God’s holy angels, Gabriel, would then visit the virgin Mary bringing the good tidings of great joy, telling her that she would ‘conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS’. He explained to her that ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’.
Mary then visits Elizabeth, her cousin, the wife of Zacharias who was miraculously with child as the holy angel had told her husband. When Mary greeted Elizabeth ‘the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost’ and immediately ‘spake out with a loud voice’ and blessed Mary, recognizing that Mary would be the mother of her Lord!
Mary, following Elizabeth’s words, magnified the Lord, rejoicing in spirit for what God her Savior was doing in her life. She rightfully ascribed to Him the name ‘Holy’ in verse 49! She continues her magnification of the Lord by listing His mighty actions toward men and His people Israel. Later in the chapter, the birth of John the Baptist is recorded. And at that time his father Zacharias was ‘filled with the Holy Ghost’ prophesying of God’s great working in visiting and redeeming His people, bringing salvation through the house of David by the Lord Jesus Christ just as He had spoken through his ‘holy prophets’! Zacharias continues by underlining the fact that God remembers His ‘holy covenant’ performing the mercy He promised to the fathers.
The last reference to holiness comes in (v.75) where Zacharias encourages and exhorts those who would read his prophesy in the ages to come. He reminds us all that we must serve the Lord without fear, in ‘holiness’ and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. This holiness which we need in order to ‘see the Lord’ is provided by the Lord Jesus Christ when we receive Him as our personal Savior. This provision of personal holiness is just one of the many benefits we receive when we are ‘born again’ by putting our faith in His death, burial and resurrection.
This first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, which gives us the surrounding circumstances of our Savior’s birth, is saturated in holiness, a fitting preparation for the miraculous incarnation of the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel! Have you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If you have, are you serving Him in ‘holiness’ and righteousness? The greatest gift you can give the ‘Holy One’ this Christmas is yourself, dedicated to serving Him in ‘holiness’ and righteousness…all the days of your life. Merry Christmas!!
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