The God Who Brings Salvation

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The God Who Brings Salvation

“Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them.” Psalm 106:4 ESV

The God Who Consoles

Simeon, devout and righteous before God and full of the Holy Spirit, waits in eager anticipation for the “Consolation of Israel” — the Messiah — to arrive and at last redeem His people. He watches relentlessly for a sign of His approach, certain he will see Him with his own eyes before his life expires.

Unbeknownst to him, Joseph and his wife Mary, who is heavy with child, arrive in Bethlehem, a town whose name means “house of bread” in Hebrew. Called there to register for the census decreed by Caesar Augustus, it would be the place of their child’s birth. And with no room at the inn, their son, upon His delivery, is swaddled and laid in a simple feeding trough – signaling to all that the bread of heaven had, at last, arrived — a feast prepared by God to save, sustain, and satisfy a spiritually hungry world.

Lowly shepherds keeping watch over their flocks in the fields that night would receive the first birth announcement. An angel appeared to them declaring the good news of the Savior’s arrival. They listened in wonder as a multitude of angels praised God saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)

Mary and Joseph named Him Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. A name fit for His purpose — meaning Savior because, as Matthew 1:21 declares, “He saves His people from their sins,” And in accordance with the Law of Moses, and at the appointed time, Jesus is brought to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord and offer sacrifice.

Simeon, drawn by the Spirit to the temple that day, feasted his eyes on the newborn King — the fulfillment of God’s promise at last. He gingerly wrapped the infant in his arms and lifted Him up and blessed God. In adoration, he raises his voice in a song of praise for the arrival of the Savior, the extension of this salvation to the gentiles, and the future necessary suffering to come to both the child and His mother Mary.

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:29-38 (ESV) Bible Gateway Link

THE SONG OF SIMEON

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.”

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 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.”

Reflection:

Centuries past, God promised Israel that He would end their suffering through a coming Messiah. (Luke 2:25; Isaiah 40:1-2). And now, Simeon had fulfilled his purpose by looking on this Consolation of Israel with his own eyes, and he was now ready to depart this life in peace as a new age began.

The old-age yielded to make way for the law’s fulfillment through the Christ child (Luke 16:16). God’s words would no longer come from the law and the prophets. In this new age, the Word became flesh. And the Word was and is Jesus (John 1:1-5), and God’s war-weary people would find mercy through Him.

The prophet Micah spoke of this when he said, “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19 (ESV)

Because of Jesus, all would see God’s true character. A God who calls the nations to look up and away from their idols and turn and see their only hope of salvation — Jesus.

Are you looking for the consolation of God? Then look no farther than Jesus — God’s perfect “I love you to the world.” He is the one who embodies God’s mercy and gives peace to His people through the forgiveness of their sins.

Prayer: Your Love Never Changes

In a world where worry, not peace, prevails, stir up that good news again. This Christmas, make it real in our hearts. Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh. Forgive us for forgetting—that Your love never changes, never fades, and that You never abandon the purpose for which You came: to save us from our sinful condition, and to give us life eternal, the joy of relationship with a holy God. Your birth—and Your death—sealed Your promise to us forever.

Rebecca Barlow Jordan

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