Jan. 1, 2019
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."
~ Luke 2:34-35 (ESV)
"A sword will pierce through your own soul also." Isn't that the truth. Thirty-some years later, Mary would watch as her dear Son Jesus hung on a cross, mocked and hated by those who passed by. I'm fairly sure Mary would have preferred a literal sword through her heart instead of the grief of watching Jesus die.
But on that day she stood listening to Simeon, did she have any idea of what was to come? Maybe so. As an observant Jewish woman, she would have heard the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. Passages like Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 wouldn't be comfortable to hear. "A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief"? "You lay Me in the dust of death"? Mary must have shivered sometimes, holding her baby and thinking of the future.
Mary didn't want to see Jesus die. But Jesus—God come in human flesh—didn't want to see Mary die. Or any of us, truly. He made us. He loves us. He wants us to live—now and forever.
And so Jesus accepted—not a sword through the soul, but a spear in the side (John 19:34). He went willingly to death on our behalf, to buy us back from death. We were "the joy set before Him" that made all the suffering worthwhile (Hebrews 12:2). And then He rose from the dead, never to die again. No more swords through the soul, no more spears through the heart. Just life, joy, and love—forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord, when it feels like there is a sword through my soul, comfort and strengthen me in You. Amen.
The Coming King REFLECTION QUESTIONS!
- Do you worry about the future? Specifically, what about?
- Have you ever suffered willingly to spare someone else pain? Talk about it, if you are willing.
- Jesus choose suffering so you could be saved from destruction. Write or say a prayer thanking Him for His love.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Do you worry about the future? Specifically, what about?