Monday, February 4, 2019

The Redeemer of Israel

I recently learned that my sister's birthday, today, February 4, share's calendar significance with the days of purification for Jesus.

“When the eight days were completed for His circumcision, He was named Jesus — the name given by the angel before He was conceived. And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord” (Luke 2:21-22). “Forty days after Jesus' birth is the time of the circumcision (eight days) plus the 33 days of Leviticus 12:3-4 counted inclusively” (ESVSB). December 25 + 8 + 33 = February 4.

Two different people made reference to this event in a way that indicated this was not your everyday purification ceremony.

“There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel's consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him” (Luke 2:25). “Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. ... At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36,38).

Fast forward through Jesus' life, death, and now resurrection, he strikes up a conversation with a couple folks heading out of town, and they tell him about “The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a Prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him. But we were hoping that He was the One who was about to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:19-21).

He was! He is the One. He wants to redeem everyone, Jew and Gentile.

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