When you look down into the face of a newborn baby, you’re looking down into their sweetness. You may have unanswered questions as you look down into their little face. Questions such as wondering who they look like the most, what their growing up years will look like, what will they be when they grow up, and will they have a family might be some of those questions.
When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple as an infant at eight days old which the law required them to do at that time; a prophet named Simeon, to whom the Holy Spirit had revealed that he would not die until he had seen God’s Messiah (Jesus), saw Mary and Joseph and realized who the baby was, he took him up in his arms and said:
“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” (Luke 2:29 – 35 NLT)
This must have been a very difficult realization for both Mary and Joseph that their son would go through very hard and rejection times ahead. Many years later, I would imagine that as Mary stood near the cross and watched her Son dying, that she would have realized the fulfillment of what Simeon had said that had been told to her by him when Jesus was just an infant.
The God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit had planned from the beginning of time that Jesus Christ would come and die and then rise again from the dead to provide the way for mankind, separated from God because of all their wrongdoings (sin as the Bible calls it), to have an uninterrupted and living, vibrant relationship with God.
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:9 NLT)
“Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” (Galatians 1:4 NLT)
As we come closer to the Easter season where the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead is celebrated – may we think of the ultimate price that He first paid on a cruel cross out of love for us, in order to bridge that gap between us and God so we could have that personal relationship with God.
This baby, who in reality is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, had very humble beginnings and at the end of His earthly life went through intolerable suffering and death for each one of us in order to purchase our lives from death. What He went through had to happen in order for that relationship with God to be possible for us and to be able to live with Him forever in Heaven. Jesus Christ was born to die. Will you accept this gift of love from Him? If you do, in a deliberate decision between you and God – this is what happens:
“For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.” (Colossians 1:19 -23 NLT)
The last part mentioned in this piece about ‘continuing to believe this truth and standing firmly in it’, is vital to maintaining a right and living relationship with God. There is much to be learned after a person makes a decision like this. There is a lot of help available for those who make this choice of a lifetime. (Even if you have ‘drifted away,’ God’s arms are still always wide open to receive you back again—)
Readers are invited to write Gloria with their questions at: [email protected]
*Illustrations courtesy of http://sweetpublishing.com/