Sermon from Luke 2:22-40, The Presentation of the Lord
On the Feast of the Presentation, we celebrate the glorious moment when the infant Jesus was taken by Mary and Joseph to be presented at the Temple. This was just the beginning of all the ways Jesus would perfectly fulfill the life of a righteous Jewish man.
In obedience to God’s law, Mary and Joseph had Jesus circumcised at 8 days old, and they also presented him at the Temple along with a sacrifice. These were both signs of obedience and devotion to God.
The presentation of a child would have traditionally been a mundane task. However, the presentation of Jesus became wonderful when Simeon approached the young family, took the baby in his arms, and declared:
Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,Luke 2:29-32
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.
Simeon instantly recognized that this was no ordinary child – he was God’s promised Messiah!
These words of Simeon have become a traditional evening prayer. One commentator says that it is appropriate to say these words at the close of the day, because the end of each day is like a type of death. Each night when we close our eyes in sleep, it’s like we are “dying” to the day. We can close our days knowing we have met our Savior that day.
What a blessed life to begin each day saying, “Lord, I want to praise you today,” and then end each day saying, “I have seen the Lord today.”
Simeon went on to tell Mary and Joseph that everything would rise and fall on that little One in their arms (v. 34). Every single person on the planet must make their peace with him, or find their lives lacking peace. He alone is the Savior of the world. Many oppose him, even though he is the source of all light, hope, and comfort.
Simeon told Mary that her own soul would be pierced like a sword (v. 35). Imagine how those words echoed through her mind as she stood beneath the cross and saw him crucified!
Jesus is the one who gave his life for our salvation, as proof of the promises and the love of God. Everything rises and falls on him – every day, every life.