31st July 2011

Light And Glory

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
John 1:4-5 (NIV UK) 

In the days when Jesus was born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago, there was a devout old man called Simeon living in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  Luke 2:27 tells us that the Spirit led Simeon into the temple courts on the very day that Jesus’ parents brought in the infant Jesus to fulfil the requirements of the law of Moses.

When Simeon saw the baby, he took it in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).

Jesus came not only as the Messiah for the glory of Israel, but also to reveal the Father and his unconditional grace and love to all the people of the world.  Isaiah had prophesied it long before: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6; cf. 42:6-7).

Through Jesus salvation has come to the entire world, to all sinners everywhere, even to all the enemies of God. The apostle Paul wrote: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).

In Christ, we have peace. That’s because our salvation isn’t up to us. It’s not our burden. It’s his, and he carries it with ease and with joy because he loves us with a love that will never diminish or end.  He has not brought us to an impossible uphill struggle to prove ourselves worthy. He has given the unconditional grace of a new life. We can rest in him and give him all our burdens—our burdens of sin, our burdens of fear, our burdens of pain, disappointment, confusion and even doubt.

“Trust me,” Jesus tells us. “Despite what you see, I am making everything new—even you.”

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to rescue us. Thank you for making our salvation rest on his shoulders, not on ours. We would never make it; but he has already made it. And all this stems from your love for us, a love that is eternal and the very essence of what you are. In that we can have assurance and trust. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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