Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon ... And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the Child Jesus ... he took Him up in his arms and blessed God ... And there was a prophetess, Anna ... coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:25a, 27a, 28a, 36a, 38a)
Simeon and Anna had been waiting for many years for the coming of the Savior. They knew what God promised in His Word. They knew that even though they lived humble lives in a conquered country, God had not forgotten them. God would keep His promise, no matter how impossible it looked. And so they continued to hope.
That day, Simeon saw Jesus and took Him up in his arms. Anna came as quickly as she could to share the joy. God was finally there, born among His people—and our rescue was underway.
Most likely Simeon and Anna both died before they saw Jesus finish His work. They were not there to see Him nailed to a cross, to hear Him cry out, "It is finished!" They were not there to see the empty tomb on Sunday and hear Him calling their names—suddenly, unbelievably, alive again, full of joy and life and love.
But Simeon and Anna didn't need to be there. They had the promises, and God's promises are always true. We have the promises, too—and so we know that because Jesus lay down His life for us, our sins are forgiven and He has made us God's own children. We know that He will raise us from the dead, just as He is raised and lives forever. We know God will do this for everyone who trusts in Jesus—because "everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).
THE PRAYER: Father, thank You for sending Your Son according to Your good promises. Amen.
* Name someone you know who always keeps his or her promises. How do you feel about that person?
* Which of all God's promises is your favorite?
* When is one time in your life you found hope in God's promises?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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