“The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.’”

Hannah’s Prayer, 1 Samuel 2:6 (NRSV)

New Life

Some commentators are reluctant to see evidence for the resurrection in the Hebrew scriptures. Yet, Hannah certainly understood the mighty wonder-working power of God to raise us up to life. In a certain way, God had resurrected her own body, making her able to bring forth life. She was like the matriarchs of old, Sarah and Rebekah, and even Rachel, all who received God’s miraculous favor in this way. God would do this for Elizabeth a thousand years later.

Jesus demonstrated His power to raise the dead when He said to Martha of Bethany, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She did, and proved it by removing the stone that sealed her brother’s tomb.

As a first century Jewish priest, Zechariah would have looked forward to the resurrection of the dead and a full restoration of God’s original design for creation. Zechariah knew his son would prepare the way for Messiah to establish that Kingdom of Heaven on earth and to bring about the new birth of all those who put their faith in Christ.

Christmas Carol

Glorious now behold him arise;
King and God and sacrifice:
Alleluia, Alleluia,
sounds through the earth and skies.

O star of wonder, star of light,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.

“We Three Kings” John Henry Hopkins Jr. (1857)

Prayer

You are “the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that You might come to have first place in everything” (Colossians 1:18). Thank you for being the forerunner, for making a way for us also to arise. We long for the day when we will meet You in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

“For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.”

Zechariah’s Prophecy, Luke 1:76 (NRSV)
Beato Angelico, Annunciazione di San Giovanni Valdarno, 1432  | By Sailko – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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