Monday, December 23, 2013

“Jesus is Presented in the Temple” Adult Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday December 29, 2013

Purpose: To realize what it means for Christ to be our Savior

Bible Lesson: Luke 2:25-38
Background Scripture: Luke 2:21-40

Luke 2:25-38 (CEB)
(25) A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. (26) The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. (27) Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law.(28) Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said, (29) "Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word, (30) because my eyes have seen your salvation.(31) You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples. (32) It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles and a glory for your people Israel."

(33) His father and mother were amazed by what was said about him. (34) Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "This boy is assigned to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that generates opposition (35) so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your innermost being too."

(36) There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, who belonged to the tribe of Asher. She was very old. After she married, she lived with her husband for seven years.(37) She was now an 84-year-old widow. She never left the temple area but worshipped God with fasting and prayer night and day. (38) She approached at that very moment and began to praise God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

For this lesson I want to focus on our “purpose” statement. What does it mean for Christ to be our savior? From the Greek we get a word “soteriology” (the study of salvation) in the classic Greek it means “to make safe.”(to save) There are several other words we associate with “soterion” (deliverer) such as atonement and reconciliation.

In our present condition as humans, most of us at some point in our lives feel like we are separated from God, and when this happens, we want reconciliation. One of the ways reconciliation is achieved is through atonement.

In fact today’s text is about Mary and Joseph going to the temple to offer atonement for Jesus. According to Jewish law God demanded that the first born son be brought to God as a sacrifice. (Exodus 13:13) However, instead of sacrificing the first born son, a sheep could be offered as a sacrifice. Since Mary and Joseph were poor, and had no sheep, they came to the temple to offer two turtledoves as ransom for Jesus. An atonement was made, two turtledoves for the oldest son.

Simeon was very devout, his one wish was that he could see God’s salvation before he died. He got his wish, when he took Jesus into his arms, and proclaimed “I can now go in peace.” Simeon recognize that Jesus would bring salvation to everyone, not just the Jews. Salvation was brought to Jew and Gentile and God’s salvation came by way of Israel.

Since most of us are not Jews, we should be doubly excited about our atonement and reconciliation, because without Christ there was little opportunity for us to be reconciled with the creator God.

Jesus was redeemed for two turtledoves, but our redemption came at a higher price. We were redeemed by the Son of God, by the atonement offered by him to the Father. Not only atonement but reconciliation with our creator. Whereas we were without hope, but Christ became our redeemer, He became our turtledoves. We can now enter into a relationship because we have been redeemed.
Like Anna, we need to proclaim to all that will listen, “God’s salvation has come.” We now need to accept the gift that has been offered. Saved, redeemed, pardoned, made clean, restored. Whatever we call it, it is salvation to all of us.

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