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IN THE PRESENCE OF ALL PEOPLES
Pastor Robert Chew
13 April 2020
Let me borrow the words of Simeon, a righteous and devout man, who was waiting and praying in the Jewish Temple for God to reveal to him the “consolation of Israel.” In Luke’s gospel, when Joseph and Mary took baby Jesus to the Temple to “present him to the Lord”, old Simeon took the baby in his arms and exclaimed, “Lord, now you are letting your servant (referring to himself) depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples.” (Luke 2: 29-31)
Wow! What a revelation. Jesus was the “consolation” prepared for our salvation “in the presence of all peoples.”
God is still concerned with all peoples in our world today. When we understand this truth we can perceive the resurrection of Christ with new significance. The resurrection of Christ continues to say something about God’s intentions for humanity.
I am reminded of the apostle Peter’s visit (and sermon) to a Roman soldier in Chapter 10 of the Book of Acts. After Peter himself had come to a deeper understanding of the work of Christ, he declared that "God shows no partiality." In his sermon to Cornelius, Peter emphasizes that Jesus is Lord of all; he heals all who are oppressed; and, he grants forgiveness of sin to everyone who believes in him.
The resurrection is not simply a fact to be believed or rejected, it is a fact to which our response will determine our eternal destiny. It is not just a matter of fact, which can be taken lightly--it is literally a matter of eternal life or death.
I pray we'll all be able to grasp the deeper significance of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ this Easter.
I’d like to leave you with the words of Jesus himself: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26)
Pastor Robert Chew