Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 19

Joseph and Mary Dedicate Jesus

This chapter is based on Luke 2:21-38.

About forty days after the birth of Christ, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice. As our Substitute, Christ must fulfill the law in every point. He had already been circumcised as a pledge of His obedience to the law.

As an offering for the mother, the law required a lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. These offerings must be without blemish, for they represented Christ. He was the “lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:19. He was an example of what God intended humanity to be through obedience to His laws.

The dedication of the firstborn had its origin in earliest times. God had promised to give the Firstborn of heaven to save the sinner. Every household was to acknowledge this gift by consecrating the firstborn son. He was to be devoted to the priesthood, as a representative of Christ among us.

What meaning, then, was attached to Christ’s dedication at the temple! But the priest did not see beyond the outward appearances. Day after day he conducted the ceremony of presenting the infants, giving little attention to parents or children unless he saw some indication of wealth or high position. Joseph and Mary were poor, and the priest saw only a Galilean man and woman, dressed in the humblest garments.

The priest took the Child in his arms and held Him up before the altar. After handing Him back to His mother, he inscribed the name “Jesus” on the roll. As the Baby lay in his arms, little did the priest think that he was enrolling the name of the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, the One who was the Foundation of the Jewish system.

This Baby was the One who declared Himself to Moses as the I AM, He who in the pillar of cloud and of fire had been Israel’s Guide. He was the Desire of all nations, the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. Revelation 22:16. That helpless Baby was the hope of fallen humanity. He was to pay the ransom for the sins of the whole world.

Although the priest did not see or feel anything unusual, this occasion did not pass without some recognition of Christ. “There was a man in Jerusalem

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