Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God.
The Perfect Christmas Present
Simeon was waiting for the perfect gift. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long he waited for that gift. But, it would be the greatest present Simeon ever received. The Holy Spirit had given Simeon a special revelation that he would not die before he saw the promised Savior. This Savior would be “the consolation of Israel”—someone who would comfort sinners by living, dying, and rising again for them, to save them from sin, death, and the devil.
Simeon held that gift in his arms, a baby, only 40 days old, in the temple courts in Jerusalem. Imagine Simeon’s face, tears of joy streaming down his cheeks as he stared at the face of God wrapped in human flesh. This little child had already begun to comfort sinners, because as a 40-day-old baby, Jesus was fulfilling God’s law for sinners. His parents had brought him to do what the law required: a sacrifice of purification for mom (Leviticus 12:7,8), and the dedication of the firstborn to God (Exodus 13:2-13). He would grow up to do so much more. He would live with perfect joy in perfect obedience to all of God’s laws for you and me. By that life of perfect joy and obedience you have the perfect Christmas gift, a gift that will last: Christ’s life lived for you.
Like Simeon, hold the baby Jesus in arms of faith and praise God for such a gift!
Lord Jesus, already as a forty-day-old baby you began to keep the law for me. I never have to wonder if I have done enough for you because I know that you have done enough for me. Amen.
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