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Devotion - December 31, 2012
Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. . .
Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Do you want to know what God has in mind for your life in 2013? Me too! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) God doesn’t share such details with us. Knowing the future is kind of like knowing more details about the life of Jesus between the age of 1 and 30. This section of Scripture from Luke 2 provides the only details we know about Jesus’ life over that 29 year period. When it comes to much of Jesus’ life on this earth and when it comes to your future and mine, God shares with us what we need to know and not everything we want to know.
One of the things that God wants us to know about our Savior Jesus over that period of 29 years is that he celebrated the Passover. The people of God living before Jesus was born and during his lifetime celebrated the Passover every year. By God’s command they took a young, healthy, male lamb and killed it. They put the lamb’s blood on the doorframe of their house. They did this to remember that long ago through the blood of an innocent lamb the angel of death “passed over” the homes of their ancestors, but not those of the Egyptians in whose land they were living. They celebrated the Passover to remember how through the blood of an innocent lamb the people of God were set free from the oppressive slavery they were forced into by the Egyptians. Jesus celebrated the very festival that pointed ahead to the work he would do on the cross – freeing slaves to sin by suffering the punishment of hell in our place. He shed his blood so that when physical death comes knocking at the door or Jesus returns on Judgment Day the angel of death will “pass over” sending us to hell and instead we will be picked up to go to heaven.
Throughout his whole life on earth Jesus focused on doing the work of his Father which was to complete the plan of eternal salvation so that sinners like us don’t need to be afraid of the future. We don’t know what the future on earth holds for us, but we know this: Jesus continues to do his Father’s work for our eternal benefit. He gives spiritual direction, knowledge, and strength to those who seek him through his holy Word, just like he did in the temple when he was twelve years old. He humbles those, like Mary and Joseph, who need to be reminded of what God considers to be most important in life. He grants peace to those who trust that he is their Savior from hell and the grave. He comforts those who trust in his promise that he will never leave them nor forsake them.
Don’t sweat the fact that we don’t know details of the future. All we need to know and trust is that our obedient Savior Jesus will provide everything we need for life now and forever.
Lord Jesus, thank you for this year that is about to come to an end. Be with me as I face the future. Never leave me nor forsake me. Continue to comfort and direct me through your Word until I am safely with you forever in heaven. Amen.
Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com
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