Luke 2: 25-32. 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 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. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
Simeon got it. He understood what the salvation of the Lord truly was. Not a salvation from the Roman Gentiles oppressing Israel. But rather a salvation that would be for all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles.
Simeon got it. He understood that Jesus didn’t come to simply show us how to be better law keepers. He didn’t come to simply model for us the righteousness of the law. His advent was not that of a rabbi alone who explains the law. His advent was not that of a prophet alone who condemns all the law breakers. His advent was that of a savior that fulfills the righteousness of the law for us, even at only eight days old – the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law.
So you’re saying Jesus the Messiah is not here to overthrow our enemies, and he’s not here to teach us how to follow the law?
So why is he here?
He’s here to overthrow the law and teach us to love our enemies.
And you better believe that what Simeon understood, most would not understand. He understood the true purpose of the Messiah, the Christ. A Messiah that would polarize us, offend us, challenge our self-righteousness, and reveal the true nature of our hearts.
Luke 2:34-35. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
That’s the Messiah we need. Not a political revolutionary or warrior king to lead a conquest of the promised land. Not a moral philosopher or teacher of ethics to reinterpret the law and lead us on a great moral quest for knowledge and purity.
We need a soul piercing messiah. We need a messiah who will take us from falling to rising. From death to resurrection. We need a messiah who will reveal the thoughts of our hearts. This is the kind of violent messiah we need. A spiritually violent Christ who will thwart all our self-salvation schemes, crucify our inner lawyer, and expose our pride for what it is – sin.
Simeon got it. Do you get it?
Has Jesus done this for you? Has he brought you low so that you can rise again? Has he destroyed your pride and raised humility in its place? Has he exposed your heart of sin and selfishness so that you too might overthrow law keeping and choose instead to simply love and trust him instead?
Have your eyes seen the salvation of the Lord? Has the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ pierced your soul? Has “to live is Christ” become your only hope in life and death? Has your union with Christ allowed you the freedom to say with Simeon, “Now I can depart in peace?”
Do you get it?
You in Christ
With Jesus you have fallen and risen. In what way is this truth evident to you?
Christ in you
Are you letting Christ pierce your soul this Christmas season? In what way?
Playlist: Humble Christmas.
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