Two “beholds.” The “behold” of old Simeon pointed to the “behold” of Jesus on the cross.
When Joseph and Mary took eight-day old Jesus up from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to be circumcised, they were met in the temple by a man who was diligently waiting for the Christ. It had been revealed to him by the Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. As soon as he saw the Child, he took him into his arms and blessed him. Then, he turned to Mary and said, “Behold… a sword will pierce through you own soul.” Now, that’s a strange thing to say to the mother at a bris! “He’s a beautiful baby, but he will cause you to feel like a sword pierced your heart!”
Surely, the “behold” of Simeon must have flashed across her memory as she stood at the cross and heard her crucified Son say to her, “Woman, behold your son.” Jesus said this to Mary as he turned her care over to his disciple John. And to John he said, “Behold your mother.”
The Spirit had revealed this day to old Simeon and now Mary saw it with her own eyes, “Behold, the Christ who dies on a cross for the sins of humanity.”