By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley,
“Now I can die happy.” What would make you say that? Maybe it would be getting married, seeing your children get married or meeting a famous celebrity. For me, I think I could die happy after holding my first niece or nephew this coming July. It was holding a child that did it for Simeon, too. In Luke 2, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple for the ritual purification, and they met Simeon there. He had been told by the Holy Spirit that “he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (verse 26). When he took Jesus into his arms, he said these words:
““Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, 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” (verses 29-32).
Let’s pick that apart for a moment. First, it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that Jesus was the Christ. He knew that Jesus would be the salvation for Israel and the Gentiles. Second, that was enough for him. He could die happy and in peace knowing that Jesus would save the world, even though it wouldn’t happen for another 30 years.
It’s different for us, because we know that Jesus has already saved the world. Our sins have been forgiven because of what he did. But just like Simeon, we have something to wait for. We know that Jesus will come again… someday. Maybe it’ll be 2015; maybe it’ll be a thousand years from now. We know that he will come back to bring us to eternal life, and that we can trust this promise. We don’t know when or how it will come, but we know what Simeon knew: Jesus is the Christ, and that’s enough.