Forty days after the birth of her son, Mary’s time of purification had completed, so she came to the temple with a sacrifice, according to the law of Moses. So, Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to Jerusalem to be dedicated before the Lord. Luke 2:22
According to the Old Testament law, when the first-born son was born, the parents had to go to Jerusalem to redeem that child by offering a sacrifice to the Lord. By fulfilling this law, the child would be dedicated to God for His purpose. The sacrifice was the substitute for the child’s life so that the child was now clear and free from a life of sin. Even though the child was not perfect and still was going to sin, this sacrifice paid the price for the sin.
It reminds me of Abraham when he offered up his son as a sacrifice to the Lord. He went to the place where the temple would be built many years later, and dedicated Isaac there on an altar. He offered Isaac up as the sacrifice, but before he could make him into a burnt offering, the Lord redeemed his life with the life of a ram so that Isaac could go free and fulfill the plan of God on his life, represent what Jesus would one day do in the future.
Jesus’ parents fulfilled the requirement of the law by offering a sacrifice to redeem His life. Even though Jesus would never sin and would lived a perfect life, they still fulfilled what the law said. They dedicated Jesus to God for His service and Jesus then completed every detail that He was sent here to accomplish.
Now, the laws of God have been fulfilled in Christ Jesus and His work on the cross and in the grave. We have been set free from the punishment of sin when we received His gift of salvation in the sacrifice of God’s perfect lamb and our life has been redeemed. Now we dedicate our lives to Him to accomplish what is in the heart of God for each of our lives here in this world. He has a good plan and when you line your life up with it, you will have joy, success and complete satisfaction with peace.
We also offer up our children to be dedicated to His service. Even though we cannot choose the path they take, we can dedicate their lives to the plan of God. To complete down to the last detail every assignment God has designated for their lives. Most churches give parents the opportunity to dedicate small children to God when they are babies. This does not save them; it is merely an act of the parent to say: “We are going to train this child up to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” That child still has to make the decision to receive Jesus into their life when they become old enough to decide. The dedication is an act of faith to purposefully mark a commitment you made as a parent to God concerning your child’s faith life.
Today I want to encourage you if you have never offered your life up as a living sacrifice and accepted the offering of Jesus’ life in your place, do that today. Invite Him into your life to save, redeem and direct your life and start following His path now. If you have never dedicated your children to the Lord, do that now. Even if they are grown, offer them up as a living sacrifice and ask the Lord to direct their path to get in line with His plan. It may take some time, but you have the dedication as a point of reference when you pray for them that they have been dedicated and God is turning their lives back to Himself. Lastly, if you have already offered your life and the life of your family to Him, seek out his ways daily so that you will walk out the plan He has for our life. Begin by following the directions He gave in His Word to love and serve others. Then go through the doors He opens up to you as you follow after Him. Decide today to offer your life as a sacrifice and the lives of those you love and receive His redemption in Jesus in place of your offering so that you can live out the purpose you were created for.
Today’s scripture reading; Luke 2:21-24
21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”),
24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”