Are there specific verses of Scripture that focus your attention on Jesus Christ? I know that sounds like a foolish question since He is the focal point of the entire Bible, but I need specific verses to hold on to. 2 Corinthians 1:20 is one of those reference points for me. "For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory."
This morning I was reminded of that verse while reading of Simeon and Anna's encounter with baby Jesus. From Simeon "waiting for the consolation of Israel" to Anna worshiping God for the "redemption of Jerusalem," God is fulfilling His promises.
In Isaiah 57:14-19, the One who is high and lifted up says He will dwell with those who are contrite and have a lowly spirit. He goes on to say, "I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him...peace, peace, to the far and to the near...I will heal him." In his wait for the Consolation of Israel, Simeon was watching for the promised One who will heal, lead, comfort and bring peace to Israel. The Holy Spirit had promised he would live to see that One; another promise of God fulfilled by Jesus.
There are many messianic passages in Isaiah 49. The first two verses, describing Jesus say, "The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name." He is also the One whose "mouth is like a sharp sword." Verse six says, "I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." Here, God promised to send the Messiah to be a light to the Gentiles and display His salvation to all peoples. The fulfillment of this passage is why Simeon blessed God in Luke 2:31-32 for allowing him to see it.
Isaiah 45:23-25 says, "To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance...In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory."
So, to recap, when Mary and Joseph presented baby Jesus to the Lord in the temple Simeon saw the consolation of Israel, God's salvation displayed to all people as a light to the Gentiles and the glory of Israel. All of God's promises are Yes through Him!
Just as Simeon was blessed to see the fulfillment of so many of God's promises, Anna also understood the hope of redemption came in the form of baby Jesus. Earlier this week in Hebrews 9, we read of Jesus securing an eternal redemption through the sacrifice which He offered as the eternal high priest from the order of Melchizedek. Psalm 111:9 says, "He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!" Psalm 130:7-8 made this promise, "O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD, there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities."
Christ Jesus, I rest in You. As I think of Simeon waiting faithfully for the promise of seeing You, I am convicted of my lack of patience. Thank You for being not just the Consolation of Israel but the Prince of peace, the salvation of Your people, and the Light of the world. In You alone is redemption plentiful.