67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit. In the old testament, particularly with Ezekiel, the Spirit of God is known to bring prophecy (Ezekiel 11:1-25). Of note, when the Holy Spirit brought prophecy, it always glorified the Father and the Son. This is another example of this truth. Zechariah is prophesying, and speaking the Word of God here. He is not speaking this of his own will. The Spirit is acknowledging through him that the Father is keeping his promise to redeem his beloved people of Israel. The Lord has spoken through his prophets throughout history, since creation, bringing the promise that his children will be delivered from the hand of the enemy. We are slaves to the world, and to our sin, and Satan is the god of this world. Through Jesus Christ, God has promised salvation from this enemy. This merciful act by the Father, just as he swore to Abraham (Genesis 22:16-18) to deliver his offspring from the hand of the slavery, from Pharaoh, he is now delivering us from slavery of the greater enemy. Just as he put the Israelites in the land of Canaan, away from their enemies so that they could serve God without fear, those who are in Christ can now serve God without fear. We don’t have to fear death, because Christ has conquered it. We are part of a great land, the Kingdom of God, in which the enemy cannot destroy.
Zechariah continues to prophesy, speaking of his son, who is here to prepare people for their savior, Jesus. John will be a great teacher, teaching people people about the salvation to come, and calling people to repentance. Malachi prophesied, “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” (Malachi, 4:2) Verse 78 here shows that God is fulfilling this prophecy. Jesus is that “sun of righteousness,” shining light on the darkness of our sin, and the depravity of our souls. He is the lamp unto our feet, and the light unto our path (Psalm 119:105) that guides us to the knowledge of saving grace. John, through his future ministry, is to prepare our hearts for this glorious savior to soon come.