Baby Jesus: The World's Anointed

Sunday, December 25, 2016

“At the 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 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. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘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!’” (Luke 2: 25-32)

When you and I think of the traditional Christmas story, this passage of Scripture probably doesn’t cross our minds. In the timeline of the Bible, this event doesn’t even happen until eight days after Jesus is born. Unfortunately, I think that we tend to pick and choose which sections of the Bible we want to pay attention to when the whole Book is packed with beauty and wisdom.

This story in Luke is full of truths that tell who baby Jesus actually was and who He continues to be.

In order to better understand the passage, we first need to take a look at what the name “Messiah” signifies. The name comes from the Hebrew word, masiah, which means “Anointed One.” In Jewish culture, prophets, priests, and kings all had to be anointed with oil so that they could perform the duties their jobs entailed. The amazing thing about Jesus being the Messiah is that He perfectly takes on the tasks of all three roles for us.

Basically, the role of a prophet in the Old Testament was to communicate to Israel the words of God about the character and coming of the Messiah. As our Anointed One, Jesus perfectly fulfills every single one of those prophecies and acts as an interceder between us and the Father.

In Old Testament times, priests atoned for Israel’s sins and reconciled the Israelites to God by sacrificing a spotless lamb. Jesus fulfilled the position of a priest during His crucifixion when He became our Sacrificial Lamb, bearing all of our sins in His death, and bringing us back into a relationship with God. Because Jesus served as our priest, we can have a full, radiant, and intimate relationship with the Father that’s free from sin and shame!

Old Testament kings ruled over their kingdom with justice and wisdom. The same thing is true about Christ. As the King of Kings and Prince of Peace, He governs His eternal, heavenly kingdom with perfection that no earthly king could achieve. The exciting part is that while we see glimpses of this kingdom here on earth, we will one day experience it in full glory when we forever worship our King in heaven.

As soon as Simeon saw Jesus, he got it: He understood the glory and holiness that the little baby carried throughout His entire being. When faced with the brilliance of the tiny infant in his arms, Simeon couldn’t help but praise God for the salvation and light the child would bring to all people.

That’s the story of Christmas. Not of sugar plum fairies or Old Saint Nick, but of a child who left the perfection of heaven to enter a fallen world, filled with fallen people. It’s the story of a little boy who lived a sinless life so that He could die a sinner’s death and save humanity from its brokenness. Christmas starts with a dazzling Light quietly entering a dark world on that beautiful, silent night. And if you let Him, your Christmas can end with that same Light entering you dark world and filling it with hope and peace.

That’s what Christmas is all about.

My dear Messiah, thank You for coming into my dark and sinful world. Thank You for being my Light and my Salvation. So often, I forget just how beautiful You are and push You aside with all the Christmas chaos. But Lord, You are too wonderful to simply sweep under the rug. This Christmas, help me to pause and truly marvel at the little baby who saved me from my own destruction. I’m so in love with You and so thankful for Your gift of hope and peace that came to me in the form of a tiny infant on Christmas night so many years ago. Thank You for Your love.

Have you accepted the wonderful gift of Christ?
If not, what’s holding you back?
How does the meaning of the name “Messiah” and of this story in Luke change your view of Christ?

Written by: Mikayla Moreen

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