To Be Salvation for All People
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
Salvation means to be saved. Mary and Joseph had taken the baby Jesus to the Temple to offer a sacrifice on behalf of Mary. Leviticus 12 states that once a woman has a baby boy, he must be circumcised on the 8th day, and then she must wait 33 days to touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary. She would have been seen as unclean, which means not only could she touch anything holy, but that no one was allowed to touch her until the 33 days had passed. Once the 33 days had passed, the law required that she bring a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon for a sin offering. In doing so, the priest would offer the sacrifices on behalf of the woman so that her sins would be forgiven. So why does this random man see the child and say that he now sees salvation?
Because we are all in our sins. We are all unclean. We are all barred from approaching the sanctuary and encountering the sacred. Therefore, we are separated from life and on a path towards death. We need salvation. Yet, Mary holds in her arms the man who would become the offering for us. Jesus would be sacrificed so that our sins would be forgiven. We become ceremonially clean and can approach the holy. We become ceremonially clean so that we can approach each other. The salvation that is seen is that Jesus will make it possible for every person to be in right relationship with God, and connected to the source of life forever.