And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. ... And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus ... he took Him up in his arms and blessed God. (Luke 2:26-28)
Simeon had it in the right order. "It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ." What a comfort that promise must have been to him!
We know that death is waiting for all of us, unless the Lord returns first. We try to keep this fact in mind, to plan wisely, to have insurance and guardianship papers and funeral plans laid out. We think about the serious illnesses that may precede death, and try to plan for that as well.
But in the end, that's all we can do: plan. We cannot stop death. In most ways we can't even make it easier, either for ourselves or for the people who will go through the dying process with us. Money, talking, plans—they only do so much. And it's not enough.
But what we cannot do, the Lord did. He sent His own Son, His Christ, into human flesh as a living, vulnerable baby. Simeon rejoiced to see Him, and so should we. Because that baby is the One who actually did something about death—who grew up to overcome sin, death, and the devil—those enemies of the human race. He did it through His own personal suffering and death. By laying down His life for us, He set us free from the power of death. And by taking up His life again forever, He gave us that same everlasting, joyful life.
Death is the one thing no Christian has to do on his or her own. Jesus has already been through suffering and death before us. He knows the way through death and the way back to life, too. Our friends and family cannot go with us—but Jesus can. He will never let go of our hands. And He will bring us back to life with Him, because He has promised, and He will never lie.
THE PRAYER: Lord, be with me when my time comes to die, and keep me with You forever. Amen.
* What plans have you made concerning the end of your life?
* Are you afraid to die? Why or why not? Is it okay to be afraid?
* How does Jesus help you when you think about death?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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