Luke 2:33-35 :
Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him, and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Simeon predicts a struggle because of Jesus as well as “a sign which is spoken against.” I believe that this is talking about Jesus’ resurrection and here’s why. Listen to what Jesus was asked later as he went about teaching and doing miracles:
John 2:18-22 :
The Jews therefore answered him, “What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews therefore said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple! Will you raise it up in three days?” But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
If I am interpreting this correctly, Simeon was predicting the specific purpose of Jesus during Mary’s lifetime here on earth. He was making it clear that Jesus was to be opposed and was to be a sign that would hurt even Mary, but would reveal what people had in their hearts. We read in John that the followers of Jesus believed the sign of Jesus resurrection, but we know that the Jewish leadership for the most part tried to cover up the resurrection.
In both cases, the sign of Jesus’ resurrection revealed what was in the hearts of those who learned about it. To those who were willing to allow God to take his rightful place in government of the world and their lives, the resurrection was well accepted, but to those who had plans for their own power and ambitions, it was opposed. This is the same sign that causes the “falling and the rising of many” in the world today.
Did you know that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead that we celebrate in the spring, is a well established historical fact? If you study the historical facts surrounding the resurrection of Jesus, you will find that the evidence confirms the event. In order to deny the resurrection, a person would have to deny many other historical facts just to be intellectually consistent. The reason people deny the resurrection is really because they want to, not because it didn’t happen. It reveals the hearts of people today just as it did 2000 years ago when it happened.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is basic to Christianity. Without the resurrection, there would be no Christianity because without it there would be no hope that we could overcome death and live with God forever.