Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Advent Day #28 - Luke 2:21-35

Eights days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.  Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.  The law of Lord says, "If a woman's first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord."  So they offered the sacrifice required by the law of the Lord-"either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."  At that time there was a man named Simeon.  He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel.  The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed that to him the he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Messiah.  That day the Spirit led him to the Temple.  So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there.  He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, "Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.  I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people.  He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!"  Jesus' parents were amazed at what was being said about him.  Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, the baby's mother, "This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others.  He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him.  As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.  And a sword will pierce your very soul." 

Simeon got it.  Why do men find it so hard to believe the story of Christ.  He knew when he looked into the eyes of his Lord, the little baby in Mary's arms.  He knew that many would oppose Christ.  He told Mary that a sword would pierce her heart.  I am sure that is the feeling she felt as she saw this beautiful son of her's nailed to a cross.  God had promised Simeon that he would not die until he saw the Messiah.  God once again proved himself to be a God who keeps his promises.  He laid his eyes on the Son of God, and knew that he had seen the Savior of the world.  Do we have that same awe in the eyes of our Savior?  Do we feel now that we have seen the Savior that we can die in peace?  We should live with abandon.  We know that to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Death has lost it's sting.  We are not hopeless.  Our hope is in the person of the little baby that Simeon saw that day in the temple.  We are truly blessed.  The Creator of the universe humbled himself and became the creature to bring us back to the Father.  It did this because he is love, and because he believed we worth it.

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