GETTING THE MESSAGE/Peace found in Christ

GETTING THE MESSAGE/Peace found in Christ


The passage we are looking at this week in Luke 2: 22-32 teaches us the consolation Simeon found in the coming of Christ. Simeon’s song is called “Nunc Dimittis,” or now released. Simeon says, “Now you are letting your servant depart in peace” (verse 29).

When Jesus was ministering to men he said, “I have come to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19). The souls of men are lost. God gives us the gift of Christ to save our souls. Jesus taught men that their souls were their most valued possession: “What will a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matthew 16). In this passage we see how Christ saves the soul.

First, He was born under the law. At the appropriate time after He was born, the parents of the child Jesus brought Him to the temple “to do for him according to the custom of the law” (verse 27). The law required purification offerings and sacrifices because of sin. Jesus, having been conceived under the power of the Holy Spirit, was without sin.

Nevertheless, even as a child He was identified with sinners. The ancient Christians called His life a public life rather than a private life. By this they meant that Christ represented others. Jesus underwent a bloody circumcision in his infancy and then a bloody death on the cross at the end of His life. All this He did in accordance with the law. The fulfillment of the law is a main theme in the life of Jesus.

Why is it that Jesus fulfilled the law of God? Because we cannot, and we are guilty of breaking God’s law. Jesus kept the law perfectly in all things to save the souls of His people. He fulfilled all righteousness on behalf of His people. His death atoned for sins and His life is poured into souls who come to Him. This is good news for the soul. The law justly condemns us. Jesus justly saves us by fulfilling the law.

Next, we see the peace Christ gives to His people. Simeon was waiting on the consolation of Israel (verse 25). Simeon has in mind the promise of Isaiah 40:1-3: “Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”

Simeon, full of the Holy Spirit (verse 25), saw in the child Jesus the fulfillment of this prophecy. Jesus was the first born. The first-born males of Israel were to be dedicated to God. They were given a double portion of the inheritance. The promise in Isaiah that the redeemed receive double for their sins conveys that grace will be so abundant in Christ that sin will be totally wiped away.

This is why Simeon took the child into his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace” (verse 28). All people depart, but not all depart in peace. There is no peace in sin; it is a restless evil. Christ alone can give peace with God. The soul is not ready to depart without Him. We must be mindful of the time we will depart this world and the judgment that follows. 

If you have Christ, not only are you ready to depart in peace, but you can look forward to it. John Flavel said: “O then let not believers stand in fear of the grave. He that hath one foot in heaven need not fear to put the other in the grave.” In Christ, a man may die, and yet be saved from death. 

Simeon says that Christ is “light for revelation” (verse 32). I remember speaking to an elderly lady who grew up without electricity. When it came to her area, the line to her house began with a single light bulb hanging from the living room ceiling. She said that night she and her sisters sat on the floor staring up at it for hours as if it was a miracle. 

Certainly, the salvation of your soul is the miracle of miracles. We cannot stare into it too long or too deeply. Angels long to look into these things (1st Peter 1). So should we. Wherever Christ is proclaimed, God accompanies His word with light to souls. It’s true many reject it, but I hope that is not you. How can you face death and judgment without Christ?

Finally, Simeon speaks of Christ as “the glory of his people Israel.” The Jews were looking for a glorious king like David or Solomon. Christ is a more glorious king, but His people also see His glory in being the Lamb of God (Revelation 7). The Lamb who took away our sins and gave us peace with God.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions