Truth Quest Update: Jesus Was Dedicated
Do you remember the first few weeks of your precious child’s life? Mary and Joseph, the proud new parents of the Savior, took Him to the temple as God had commanded.
Long ago, the Lord spoke to Moses: “Consecrate every firstborn male to Me, the firstborn from every womb among the Israelites, both man and domestic animal; it is Mine” (Exodus 13:2). Consecrate means “to dedicate to a sacred purpose.” God’s people were to set apart their firstborn as belonging to the Lord. The firstborn of sacrificial animals were sacrificed to God, and the firstborn of humans and donkeys were redeemed—a lamb was sacrificed instead. God’s law for the consecration of the firstborn had a purpose: to remind the people that the Lord brought them out of Egypt by the strength of His hand. (See Exodus 13:14-16.)
After a woman gave birth, she was “unclean,” and she would observe a period of purification—a reminder that we are all born in sin. Then she would bring to the priest a burnt offering and a sin offering. (See Leviticus 12:1-8.) This is what Mary did. When Mary’s days of purification were complete, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem, where they presented Him to the Lord and offered a sacrifice. Though Jesus was not born in sin, He identified with sinners even as a baby. This initial act introduced Jesus’ perfect life of obedience to the law.
While Mary and Joseph were at the temple, God graciously revealed to a man named Simeon and a woman named Anna that Jesus was the One—the promised Messiah they had been waiting for. Imagine their joy! Throughout the Old Testament, God promised the arrival of a king who would redeem God's people. When Jesus arrived, Simeon and Anna knew He was the promised Messiah. Today, we have faith that Jesus is God’s Son. We can trust Jesus for our salvation.