Well, the 400 year silence is broken to an old priest with a barren wife, with news of the birth of the forerunner of the Messiah’s, what an experience! Zacharias can hardly believe it (no really he can’t!) and questions Gabriel. The response? Well let’s just say Zacharias mouth was shut for a good long time! As he is delayed within the temple the people start to wonder what is going on and when he comes out mute. Well, there is a lot of speculation. Imagine the trip back home once his duty of service is over. Imagine trying to “explain” all this to Elizabeth. She’ll get the picture soon enough I suppose, when her old barren womb is alive for the first time.
As we look at Elizabeth today and then in a few more days….imagine the disgrace she had felt for literally years- feel it. In a culture that said women’s value was simply what they could produce she had to have been looked down upon with distain and judgment by many, both men and women…especially women. At first glance she responds with human eyes…eyes that simply see a desire and dream come true and a type of oppression lifted but she also sees God grace. Luke 1:24-25, “After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, ‘ This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men.’”
God had certainly graced her and shown favor but it was so much bigger than simply her disgrace among men. Earthly eyes simply see our oppression and dreams that die here….His eyes, spiritual eyes see the true disgrace that will be take away as Messiah dies for the sins of Elizabeth. She will catch a glimpse of it and oh….what great grace that will be. Elizabeth is relieved from her human disgrace but the promise of the removal of spiritual disgrace is also given…Through the Messiah Jesus Christ, all our disgrace will be taken away- the disgrace of sin.
I just love how personal and patient and yes, gracious the Lord is in His dealing with people. She was thrilled to be pregnant and I’m sure very set free from the distain of men….but soon her Messiah will be in the womb of her close relative and that day she will see a bit more clearly the hope of genuine permanent grace, grace that is greater than all our disgrace… true disgrace that will be taken away by the shed blood of the Lamb.