Monday, January 2, 2023

 Monday, January 2, 2023

Reader: “The Savior of all the people . . . ”

Response: “has come into the world.”

Scripture: Luke 2: 22-28a

Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.” So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there.

Some thoughts:

We mentioned previously that Jesus was an observant Jew and that his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, kept the Law as well. According to Jewish law, forty days after the birth of a boy, if he is the woman’s first child, the parents were to take the boy to the Temple in Jerusalem to dedicate him to the Lord for this firstborn boy belonged to the Lord according to the Law (Ex.13:1-2). To give you a time frame, the day of presentation would be February 2nd. You realize Mary and Joseph took the infant, Jesus, to the  Temple in Jerusalem twice, once on the eighth day and again on the fortieth day right under Herod’s nose! 

Remember the story of Samuel. (I Samuel 1 & 2)  In the 10th plague in the exodus from Egypt, the firstborn of the Egyptians were not redeemed but slain while the Israelite firstborn were redeemed by the blood of the lamb. (Passover sacrifice) If there was no redemption price paid, the firstborn was to be slain. (Num 3:11-13) cf. Joshua and the Israelites were instrumental in giving Jericho as an offering of total destruction to the Lord. (Josh 6:17) Jericho was treated as a firstborn to the Lord. Years later in the time of Ahab, Joshua’s words were fulfilled (Josh 6:26) Jericho was rebuilt at the cost of the death of Abiram’s first born son in the laying of the foundation! (I Kings 16:34)

Though belonging to the Lord, unless stated otherwise, the firstborn could be redeemed for a sacrifice, as was the case with Mary and Joseph’s offering of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. The size of their offering indicated that Jesus’ earthly parents were of very modest means. We are reminded again that Jesus was the firstborn, not only of Mary and Joseph, but of all creation in that glorious passage in Colossians 1:15. In Hebrews 12:23 we read that we are part of God’s assembly of his adopted children. Our God is personally calling us his firstborn children for we have been redeemed with the blood of his own Son. Our names are written in heaven. The whole of Scripture is the story of God’s great redemption of all of creation through the ultimate sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross, even Jesus, the firstborn of all creation.

Music: “I Wonder as I Wander”   Simon Khorolskiy    Terrific!

Prayer:We praise you, Lord God of heaven and earth for the loving gift of your firstborn Son to bring our redemption. Yet in our fallen state you made it possible that we might live with you forever. Without the sacrifice of Jesus we would have no hope, no possible way to be forgiven. It is not possible for us to pay any acceptable redemption price. We cannot come to you on our own merit. For it is through your grace alone that we are redeemed. We truly are not our own, but have been purchased with the highest price ever paid for anyone.The slaves to sin have been set free. How we praise you, Lord Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, and it is in your name we pray this prayer. Amen. ―Daniel Sharp