The waiting! The anticipation! Christmas has finally arrived!
The kids have been waiting all year for THIS morning!
And why have we been so excited about this particular morning? Because we’re hoping to receive presents, of course! As kids, the best thing we can possibly imagine is that amazing new electronic device or the toy we’ve been seeing in the commercials. (As we get older, our wish list usually becomes more expensive, unfortunately). In all of this, let’s not forget a greater kind of anticipation. We’ve all been waiting for the magic of Christmas morning, but there’s something coming that is far, far better.
More than 2,000 years ago, a man named Simeon understood this. Consider what the Bible says…
“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, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, 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.”” (Luke 2:25-35)
When Simeon saw the baby Jesus and His parents in the temple that day, it was far better than Christmas morning!
Simeon had placed all of his hopes on the coming of the promised King of Israel. The coming Messiah would rule over Israel and bring fulfillment to all of God’s promises. He would also be a “light of revelation to the Gentiles,” bringing God’s salvation throughout the whole world to all who would align themselves with God and His new King.
Here are two ways we’re all very similar to Simeon:
1) Every one of us can understand the significance of this baby.
Simeon understood that Jesus was no ordinary baby. He was God’s Messiah. As we look back on the extraordinary events in Jesus’ life, we understand He was no ordinary man. Jesus was, in fact, the Son of God who came to save the world. He is Savior and Lord.
2) Every one of us will someday meet the King of Kings.
Put yourself in Simeon’s shoes for a moment. “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” That must have been so exciting! Would this be the day? Would he meet the new Messiah today? He must have lived in constant anticipation of this event.
Our expectation is just as real. When Jesus ascended to heaven, an angel told the disciples, “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the King of Kings, came as a baby, grew to be a man, gave His life on the cross, and rose again in victory. As a result, all who put their trust in Him can have everlasting life. And He’s coming back again.
Let’s rejoice this day in Jesus, celebrating the salvation He brought and looking forward to His return. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!