“To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way of peace.”-Luke 1:77-79
Observe how Zacharias, in this his joyful song, extolled the remission of sins, as one of the most extraordinary proofs of the tender mercy of our God. He had been dumb for a season, as a chastisement for his unbelief; and therefore he used his recovered speech to sing of pardoning mercy. No salvation is possible without forgiveness, and so Zacharias says, “To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins.” The Lord could not forgive them on the ground of justice, and therefore He did so because of His tender mercy-the tender mercy of our God, who has made Himself “our God” by the covenant of grace. He passes by the transgression of His people because He delighteth in mercy… I want any soul here that is burdened with sin to believe in the forgiveness of sins, and to believe in it because God is love, and has a great tenderness towards the work of His hands. He is so pitiful that He loves not to condemn the guilty, but looks with anxious care upon them to see how He can turn away His wrath and restore them to favor. For this reason alone there is remission of sins. Forgiveness comes not to us through any merit of ours, present or foreseen; but only through the tender mercy of our God, and the marvellous visit of love which came of it. If He be gracious enough to forgive our sins, it can be done; for every arrangement is already made to accomplish it. The Lord is gracious enough for this-for anything. Behold Him in Christ Jesus, and there we see Him as full of compassion.
“His heart is made of tenderness,
His bowels melt with love.”