‘The earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever.’ Isaiah 51:6b
In Jerusalem Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah, and Simeon looked forward to the moment that this would actually happen. He did not disregard this prophecy indifferently, no, he eagerly looked forward to see it fulfilled.
Simeon knew that, once he would have seen the Christ, he would die. He did not fear death, for he was righteous and devout, and so he had no need to fear the judgment of God. Simeon was not self-willed. Of him it is written, ‘Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.’ So he let himself be guided by the Holy Spirit, day by day and hour by hour. Maybe sometimes this was hard for Simeon, maybe sometimes he wanted to go a self-chosen path. But the way on which the Holy Spirit leads us, is the way God wants us to go, the way on which we will see His glory. This is not always an easy path, but this way brings us the fulfillment of God’s holy promises.
How this is illustrated by this story!
When Simeon took the child Jesus in his arms, he praised God. ‘Sovereign Lord, (…) You may now dismiss Your servant in peace, for my eyes have seen Your salvation!’
God has prepared this salvation for all nations. This salvation - Jesus - is a Light for those who walk in the darkness. A Light, a great Consolation, a holy Certainty, that their guilt has been taken away. For Jesus is the Lamb without defect or blemish, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of all who have put their hopes on Him.