(The Video illustrates the prophecy that "Some will rise" in the scripture. The cross of Christ sifts people so that "some will fall and some will rise" (Luke 2:34), in other words, some will reject Christ and the fact that he died on the cross to pay the price of our sins and some will accept.)
Simeon is a faithful old man of God who had been told he would see the Lord. Simeon was there in the temple when Jesus was 40 days old and his parents came to dedicate Jesus. He took Jesus in his arms and said, READ Luke 2:29-32. He is amazed he is allowed to hold the Christ child. In Luke 2:34 the scripture says Simeon blesses Mary and Joseph. Then comes the prophecy of pain and suffering. READ
- Some will fall and some will rise…, like the song in the video says, “I will rise again.” This is a prophecy relevant for today…some will reject Christ and others will accept.
- “to be a sign that will be spoken against” Jesus will be despised by many. We see that over and over. Today in our quasi-Christian country we see a watered down version of Jesus promoted: love without standards; acceptance without growth; grace without sacrifice; salvation without transformation…. Right now in this country there is an inexplicable mood to defend the Muslim faith and cast doubt on the Christian faith, going beyond reason ….
- Luke 2:36a says, “So that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” A sifting of faith is going on at this time in our world… People must decided if Christ is credible. I am talking about Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus Christ who is raised again and invites men and women, young people and children to be changed. Many believe and embrace the cradle of Christ, but fewer go all the way to the cross. The cross sifts people. For many the price is too high. They want the cradle, the joy, an anticipation of a perfect life with no pain, no grief, no suffering.…
You want to find out the substance of the faith of those who profess Christ? Ask about the cross and what it means. Ask about sin and forgiveness. One person on FB absolutely declared the reason Jesus died was for the sake of love for the poor. “But did he die for the forgiveness of sins” I challenged? Silence. A refusal to answer. It’s not a hard question. It’s the hardest question of all. From the cradle to the cross. There is a price to be paid to follow Jesus Christ. Simeon says to Mary, “And a sword will pierce your soul too.” Mary paid a tremendous price to bring the savior into the world.
The cross of Christ sifts people… “the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” An honesty. Pain and suffering is not easy, but thank God the pain is only the process, it is not the reward. Many will rise. Many will stand firm. Therein lies the reward. Many will choose to trust Jesus Christ all the way to the cross. The price of following Christ all the way to the cross is pain and suffering, but the reward is salvation.
Next week we will look at an Amazing woman Anna. We will continue to look beyond the stable, from the cradle to the cross all the way to the crown. The cross is the process. But the crown/reward of following Christ is Salvation. Go from the joy of the cradle to the pain and victory of the cross for it is there that you find fulfillment. Amen.