“Now, Lord, let your servant go in peace according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all men, a light to illuminate the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32 Read Luke 2:22-39
Churches that still use the church’s ancient liturgy sing Nunc Dimittis, the words of Simeon recorded in Luke 2:29-32, in our Lord’s offering every Sunday after the Lord’s Supper.
Ancient Simeon was ready to leave this life, but God had revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the Messiah of the Lord, the promised Messiah and the Redeemer from sin, the old-promised “will deliver Israel from all its wickedness.” ” (Psalm 130:8).
Now Simeon, who saw with his eyes and took Jesus in his arms, was ready to leave this life in peace because he had seen the promised Child Christ. He was ready to die and face the judgment of God because he knew that his God and Savior had come and that this Child would live for the sake of holy life and that this Child would achieve innocent suffering and atonement sins for the sake of death.
He was ready to die in peace with God because in Christ Jesus was his Savior from sin and its eternal punishment! Having believed in God’s promises and waited years for God to send his Savior, Simeon had the privilege of seeing with his own eyes the fulfillment of God’s ancient promises and receiving his Savior in his arms!
What about you? Are you ready to die and appear before God, your Creator? Are you at peace with God knowing that for Christ’s sake your sins are paid for and forgiven?
We look to the pages of the Scriptures for such confidence, for there too we see our Savior and the salvation God has given us. There we see the holy life of Christ for us under God’s Law, and there we see His suffering and death on the cross for us.
There we see Jesus, our Savior, the Light of the Gentiles and the Glory of his people Israel. There we learn of God’s forgiveness and peace to all who repent of their sinful ways and look with faith at Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross. There we learn that we are not condemned by faith in Christ, but have eternal life!
The Scriptures tell us that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, and was resurrected on the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The Scriptures tell us, “He is the atonement for our sins, not only for ours, but for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2); and because of our faith in him, “we have salvation through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the richness of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). The Scriptures tell us that it is “far better to be with Christ” for a believer to leave this life. God’s Word assures us that whoever hears the word of Jesus and believes in Him who sent Him “has eternal life and will not be judged, but will pass from death to life” (John 5:24).
And so, as we look to Christ through the Scriptures and trust Him, we, like Simeon, can be ready to leave this life in peace; For, as the Scriptures say, “Because we are justified by faith, we have reconciliation with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we receive this grace by faith, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).
And it is certainly appropriate that we say these words of Simon after eating the Lord’s Supper, for there we eat to Christ the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (cf. John 1:29). Just as Simeon took the Child Christ in his arms and uttered the words of Nunc Dimittis, so we receive Christ at the Lord’s Supper and eat and drink of His body and of His blood, given and shed, for the forgiveness of our sins.
And as we leave this service, we leave in peace knowing that Christ has come and won for us forgiveness and eternal life. We leave with the assurance that our sins are forgiven and forgiven and that we are reconciled to God as Christ died and rose again for our sins.
And when we leave this life, we can say with Simeon: “Lord, now send your servant in peace according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the eyes of all men, a light that will enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
May God grant us such faith and peace in Christ Jesus our Savior!
Lord Jesus Christ, allow our eyes to see you in the pages of the Scriptures, so that we too can trust in You and always be ready to leave this life in peace. Revive the weak in faith and strengthen us all so that we may hold firm in our Savior until He returns to bestow eternal life on us and on all believers. Amine.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected] More of Moll’s devotional writings are available for free at: https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed belong to the author.]
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