Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday Of Advent, Jesus 'Our Dayspring From On High''

THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE, DILIGENT READERS AND STUDENTS CAN BE OVERWHELMED BY THE MANY NAMES---AT LEAST 200---DESCRIBING JESUS: Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Bread of Heaven, Word of God, Way, Vine, Shepherd, Son of God, and Alpha and Omega, just to name a very few. Here's a link with Bible references to all or most of them.

One of the lovelier descriptions of Jesus is our dayspring from on high comes in Luke 1: 78  and it is spoken prophetically by Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, shortly before Mary gives birth to Jesus in Luke chapter 2. The AllAboutJesus blog describes this reference this way:
Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death" (Luke 1:78, 79, NKJV). The figure of the Dayspring refers to the rising sun. Ancient peoples thought of the east as a position of honor and importance.

The sunrise is viewed as a symbol of glory and hope. The language of this verse is descriptive of the coming of the Messiah. The title, "Dayspring from on high," is applied to Jesus because He is the hope and the light of the world. Fully convinced that the hour had finally come for the appearing of the long-awaited Messiah, Zacharias, the officiating priest, broke forth in these remarkable words, "The Dayspring from on high has visited us" (Luke 1:78, NKJV).

To the spirit-filled Zacharias, Christ's appearing was like the smiling sunrise of a golden daybreak. He saw in Christ the Dayspring who had come in the fullness of time to dispel the darkness and usher in the kingdom of God. No more appropriate title could be found to portray the One who declared, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12, NIV). Christ's appearance in history was like a majestic sunrise after a night of darkness. The visit to our planet by the "Dayspring from on high" brought redemption, healing, and everlasting life. Ellen G. White speaks of the Dayspring as God's free gift to us. "The condescension of God... is described by Zacharias as a salvation come unto us... whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us... This salvation comes to us not as a reward for our works... but it is a gift unto us."--Signs of the Times, September 5, 1892.
This was described to us at my church this morning and it was something I'd never heard before. As the image was explained, I felt the hope and peace of a rising light (Son, sun) after the dark night of humanity and also the promise to believers that one day the Full Light will come back to our World for all eternity and transform every tear and trauma in the blink of an eye.

At this darkening time of year as days get shorter,  the light gets dimmer, Our Dayspring From on High seems like a wonderful image to cling to this first Sunday of Advent, as we await with anticipation the Birth of Our Lord and Savior---the baby Jesus.


Thanks to an anonymous commenter who provided a link in the comments,  I'm providing it here:
Charles Spurgeon sermon in 1886 on entitled The Tender Mercy of Our God.


Anonymous said...

I found this post as I was researching different interpretations of this verse from Luke - regarding the 'Dayspring from on High.' In fact the interpretations do not vary, the themes are the same. Yet, when I came upon this sermon by Spurgeon; this sermon was exquisite in it's beautiful exposition of the passage. Although it is lengthy, I urge you as a Christian to take the time to drink it in. May God continue to guide you in paths of peace. Thank you for your post:

Webutante said...

Thank you so much for your link and encouragement. I shall drink it in and hope others will also.