The Dedication of Jesus based on Luke 2:21-40
This passage of scripture tells of the time when Mary & Joseph took baby Jesus to be dedicated in the Temple as was their custom. When the priest held him in his arms, he performed the ceremonial rituals as usual and Mary & Joseph offered the pair of doves or two young pigeons as was required by the Law. This dedication looked like that of any other baby. The priest performing the rituals never once realized that the baby he was holding in his arms was not just any baby, this was the King of Kings, the Redeemer of mankind, the Creator of the entire universe. "Little did he think, as the babe lay in his arms, that it was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory."[Desire of Ages, E.W.] Little did he know that this little baby was going to abolish the sacrificial system once and for all because He came to be the lamb of God. How ironic that a priest, considered an expert in Messianic prophecy and learned in the scriptures, would fail to recognize the very Son of God whom they'd been waiting for. The prophecies were fulfilling right before his eyes, yet he was blinded by pride, laws, and salvation by works.
But there was one ordinary but righteous and devout man, Simeon, who'd studied the scriptures and was anxiously awaiting the Messiah. Simeon, unlike the priest, had a personal relationship with the Father, and was guided by the Holy Spirit. Luke 2:26 says that "It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ." He believed this. Verse 27 continues, "Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts...took [Jesus] 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." This common man was able to recognize the salvation of the world in his arms, but a priest, learned in scripture, could not.
This makes me think, do I recognize Jesus? Can you recognize Jesus? You see, in the year 2012, Jesus has already come as a baby. He was recognized by some, rejected by many and today we are living with the advantage of knowing beforehand that He truly is the Messiah. However, could that be a disadvantage as well? Could we be living in a time where we've heard of Jesus as a baby, as a man, as a Savior, as a Creator so many times that we do not even recognize the Jesus we are holding in our arms? Has Jesus become just a story to you, a repetitive tale? That's what it had become to the Jewish priest who failed to see the King of glory in his arms. Do we see the King of glory, the humble servant who sacrificed His own life so that we may live, the God who demonstrated His love for us that "while were were still sinners, died for us?"
I urge you to take a second look at that Jesus you've been holding in your arms--that notion of Jesus. And transform that notion into a tangible, living, romantic experience with the Majesty of heaven. Jesus is real and He is in pursuit of your heart. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you and I.
I pray we recognize Him today.