The account of Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1 is truly a remarkable story. Zechariah and Elizabeth are an older couple; he’s a priest, she comes from a priestly family. Luke says, “They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” So these are two God honoring people. Their lives were lived for God’s glory. They weren’t perfect, but they sought to live a life that honors the Lord. But Zechariah and Elizabeth didn’t have any children. Elizabeth was barren, which was a terrible disgrace in those days. Today, many women decide with good reasons not to have children, but inJerusalem in those days you wouldn’t choose not to have kids. In fact, many people taught that if you couldn’t have kids you were under God’s discipline, or worse, under God’s curse (which is completely false). So being barren forElizabeth was extremely difficult.
If you have a deep disappointment or a deep emotional scar because of something that’s happened to you, or something that hasn’t happened to you, but has happened to the vast majority of your friends, you can identify with Elizabeth. If you carry with you deep disappointment or shame, imitate Elizabeth, because she didn’t allow her disappointment to turn into bitterness against God. She trusted God to do for them what was right and good.
God sends the Angel Gabriel to tell Zechariah thatElizabethin her old age will conceive and bear him a son, and they’re to name him John! Luke tells us, “Elizabethconceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people” (Lk.1:24-25).
This account that starts with sadness over Elizabeth’s barren state ends with great joy and gladness over what God has done for them. And what’s even more beautiful is knowing that what the Lord did for Elizabethis what Jesus does for His people! Elizabethrejoices by saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach…” This is what God does for you in Christ! He takes away your disgrace, your shame that’s connected with your sin, and replaces it with joy and gladness. It’s the great reversal of fortunes. At the Cross, Jesus took upon Himself your disgrace, your shame and your sin, therefore, when you place your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, all your shame, all your disgrace that accompanied your sin is wiped away and paid for by God Himself, so that you, like Elizabeth can worship, you can celebrate, and you can enjoy God forever.