Monday, December 19, 2022

Advent Words 2022 ~ Word 12: Redemption


Word 12: Redemption


“Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
    together they shout for joy.
When the Lord returns to Zion,
    they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy together,
    you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people,
    he has redeemed Jerusalem. Isaiah 52:8-9

The prophet Isaiah describes a time when those who are the watchmen – those who are waiting and watching for the promised Messiah – will shout for joy and burst into song when they see with their own eyes the One they have been waiting for. The Messiah will comfort His people as the One who will redeem them.

We saw in our last post that the Holy Spirit led Simeon to the temple on the day that Jesus’ parents came to consecrate him to the Lord. Simeon held the child in his arms and declared to all that the One they had been waiting for, the salvation of the Lord, was this child. In the temple that day there was also a woman named Anna, who is described as an elderly widow who is a prophetess who has devoted her life to worship, fasting and prayer. Day and night she was in the temple waiting for the “redemption of Jerusalem”, just as Isaiah described centuries before.

“There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.Luke 2:36-38

Like Simeon, God rewards Anna’s years of devotion to Him with the gift of seeing the Messiah – the long-awaited Savior. And just as we have seen ibn others throughout the story, Anna responds to God’s favor with gratitude and praise to God. She then shares the good news with all others who had been watching and waiting for God’s redemption.

Many years later the Apostle Paul will share with the Galatian churches the event that Anna had been waiting for.

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” Galatians 4:4-5

Anna’s eyes witnessed the time that had fully come, the arrival of the Messiah. The One she saw that day in the temple was sent by God to redeem His people. The salvation of the Lord given through Jesus Christ enables all who receive Him to be adopted as His sons and daughters.

Those who lived under the law could not earn their salvation by their own merit. They needed one who would pay the price of their release for them. The Bible is clear; we are all sinners, and we cannot save ourselves. Jesus Christ came to redeem us from the slavery of sin, to “give his life as a ransom” (Mark 10:45). He died that we may live. The life He gave as a ransom is our redemption.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

When Anna saw this child, she saw our Savior, the One promised, the One who would die on a cross to redeem us from our sin. Anna saw the redemption of Jerusalem, the light for the Gentiles, the hope of the world.


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