Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)
TITLE: The Fulfillment Of Prophecy
By Shelley Snyder
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The sound of bleating sheep and goats was carried on the warm breeze that blew and swirled the dust at his feet. The cooing of pigeons and doves could also be heard in the distance; these were the animals used in the daily sacrifices. It was always hoped, by those making the sacrifices, that the fragrant aromas from their offerings would be pleasing to Yahweh.
Simeon enjoyed coming here, and always took comfort in being at the Temple – for this was Yahweh’s house, and it was here that the aged man felt very close to his God. However, he was intelligent enough to know that these stone walls could not contain Yahweh, the God of Israel, for He was everywhere.
A couple walked slowly past him, and he could see the young woman was holding an infant. Simeon smiled at the mother who cradled her baby, holding him close to her heart. The Holy Spirit was upon him, and he now knew that today was the day that consolation had finally come to Israel! He called out to them, a dry, raspy utterance emanating from his throat as he beckoned for them to come closer. “May….may I hold the child?” He asked tentatively. The woman looked at her husband who had nodded his approval. Carefully and gently she placed her sleeping eight day old son into the man’s arms.
Simeon closed his eyes as he cried out and blessed God. Hot tears trickled down his cheeks when he opened his eyes to gaze upon the little baby he held. “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people, Israel.”*
The boy’s mother knelt. She was beautiful, and her dark brown eyes sparkled as she gazed into Simeon’s own knowing eyes. When she spoke, her voice was soft and melodic. “His name is Jesus. It is the name given by the angel who came to me before he was even conceived in my womb; today is the day we present him to the Lord.” She stroked her son’s tiny head and smiled. How proud she was of her little lamb, the one Yahweh had sent to save men from their sins.
Simeon placed his wrinkled hand on Mary’s arm. “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed – and a sword will pierce even your own soul – to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”*
Mary was a little taken aback by his words. What did he mean that a sword would pierce her soul? Her thoughts were interrupted by Joseph, her husband, who had placed his hand on her shoulder. “Mary, we must go.” He said, holding up a cage that contained two noisy young pigeons, their required sacrifice according to the Law of the Lord.
Simeon, with slightly trembling arms, handed the child back to his mother. Tears again flowed from his eyes; tears of joy and not sorrow. The Holy Spirit had promised that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. How blessed he was this day, for he had indeed seen the Christ, the promised Messiah. And soon he would be with his Lord, which would be the result of his own promise from the Lord being fulfilled.
He watched the parents carry their infant away to have him dedicate to the Lord. They disappeared into the crowd, and Simeon could no longer see them from the multitude of people coming and going. Joy filled his heart as he whispered into the breeze, “Oh yes, after such a long wait, you my child are indeed the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken long ago.”
* Scripture taken from Luke 2:29-32; 34-35 NASB
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