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According to an ancient legend, a Persian king asked his wise men to devise a way to make him glad when he was sad. They gave the king a ring with these words etched on it, “This too shall pass.” The proverb meant that all conditions, positive or negative, are only temporary. Maybe there is some truth to it, but only God’s people can have absolute confidence that all things work together for their good. Zachariah had that confidence. It is why he rejoiced as he looked into the face of his little son John. We read his words in Luke 1, “You, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Zachariah rejoiced that after long years of waiting, God was about to fulfill the promise he made hundreds of years before — to send the Messiah. The Messiah brought deliverance that not only could set Israel free from the power and penalty of sin. Jesus Christ brought salvation that is available to every person on the planet — if only every person would accept Him by faith.

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