“The consolation of Israel.” – Luke 2:25
If Jesus is the consolation of Israel, it reminds us of the state of those who, as the apostle says, ‘are without Christ’. They are lying in wickedness, the victims of guilt and depravity, abandoned to the miseries of life, and all their lifetime subject to bondage through the fear of death. They feel their disease in many of its effects, though not in all.
But there is no balm in Gilead, no physician there. And do we not pity them; do we not pray for them? And while we pray that His way may be known on earth, His saving health among all nations, do we not demonstrate clearly by our exertions and sacrifices, that our prayers are not hypocrisy or formality?
The character of Christ invites sinners to come to Him. While you neglect Him, you are only observing lying vanities and forsaking your own opportunity for mercy. Nothing can supply the place of the consolation of Israel. Suppose you prosper in this world? The abundance you possess cannot ease the conscience or fill the wishes of the mind. You grasp at substance, but seize only vanity. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
But what will you do in the day of adversity? And how soon may this come upon you? How mortal are your relationships! What is your life? You are now only dreaming, but how will it be with you when you awake?
What a mercy it is that you can now still hear the sound of consolation. Here is a Comforter at hand, willing to help and receive you. Seek Him, and you will find rest for your soul. Those who have found Him were strangers to all true comfort until they acquainted themselves with Him. He that has the Son has life and they are now the happiest ones in the world. They are justified from wrath through Him; they rejoice in His salvation and can leave all their cares in His hands and know that He will never leave them nor forsake them.
– William Jay