Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can I Hold Him?

Luke 2:21-28

And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "EVERY firstborn MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD"), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS."

And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
And the glory of Your people Israel."

And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed--and a sword will pierce even your own soul--to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."

And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

As we end December, let's talk about the last two people mentioned in Jesus' birth. Simeon and Anna. Both of them were very old and stayed around the temple awaiting the Savior.

Simeon knew that before he died, he would see the Savior. The words that were translated here was the Lord's Christ. The Holy Spirit told him so. So he came to the temple and coming in the Spirit he saw the family. He then took Jesus in his arms and started talked to God. He told them that he had seen Jesus and he could die in peace now. He said that Jesus was a Light of Revelation to all the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that Jesus was going to be for all people, not just the Jews. Simeon waited for Israel's salvation, in fact, he was searching for it. I wonder what he felt like when he took Jesus in his arms. Did he feel the peace and sweetness of a baby? Did he feel the pain and sorrow of the ages? Whatever it was like, I am sure it was magical.

Another person that was waiting for the Savior was Anna, a prophetess. She was 84 years old and she never left the temple. She was always serving, day and night. She came up to the family and started thanking God. She told everyone there about him as people came to the temple, looking for redemption.

Mary and Joseph were in awe and probably a little uncomfortable. Simeon blessed Mary. He told her how wonderful Jesus would be, but how heartbreaking, even for her it would be. Do you think that Mary and Joseph would ever get use having people just come up to them and either want to touch the baby or talk about him to them? All babies get a lot of attention, but could you imagine the attention that Jesus was getting? I am sure they were caught off guard quite a bit.

Today, as you look for redemption, remember that he has already redeemed you!

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