“White Christmas” is one of the most popular Christmas songs ever written, constantly ranking in the top ten songs that are played during this time of year. Its original popularity had a lot to do with the fact that America had just gone to war (World War II). American soldiers dreamt of a “White Christmas” when they could come home again and all would be merry and bright. But the fact is that the song has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. For centuries, the Jews had dreamed of their own “White Christmas” (see Isaiah 1:18-20). There would come a day when their lives would be cleansed as “white as snow”. Zacharias (the father of John the Baptist) declared how all this would happen.
I. The Background – Luke 1:5-25; 57-66
A. God chose two righteous people, Zacharias and Elizabeth, to be the parents of John the Baptist. – Luke 1:6
B. As Zacharias was praying and burning incense in the Temple, God spoke to him about His plan. – Luke 1:13-14
C. Zacharias had at first, failed to show faith. But failure is not permanent in God’s vocabulary – God used Zacharias in a mighty way! THAT should be great encouragement to us!
II. The Song of Zacharias – Luke 1:67-79 – How was this Messiah going to change people’s lives?
A. God would raise up “a horn of salvation.” – Luke 1:67-69
1. Horns were a symbol of power and strength.
2. Zacharias was saying that there would be incredible power and strength in this salvation which would reside in the person of the Messiah.
3. We have been saved so that we can serve! – Luke 1:74-75
B. Jesus came to shine His light into a world of darkness. – John 8:12; Luke 1:78-79
1. Zacharias pictures Jesus as “the Sunrise from on high”, literally meaning a “rising up” of light which will come from heaven. – John 1:5-9
2. Jesus came to declare to us a different way to look at life. – Eph. 4:17-20; Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28, 38-40
3. Jesus was basically telling people, “Change how you look at life. Refuse to live lives filled with bitterness, lust and selfishness.”
The song “White Christmas” declared that a person’s life could be changed by a chance winter storm. The Bible tells us that our lives can only be changed by the deliberate act of Jesus. His birth was important because it led to His death and it is through His death that our sins can be made “whiter than snow”! Have YOUR sins been forgiven? Are YOU now “whiter than snow” in God’s eyes?