LUKE 2:21 “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.”
OBSERVATION: The birth of Jesus is one of the greatest stories ever told. This Christmas season our thoughts are carried to pictures of Joseph and Mary around the manger and the Christ child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Yet, few of us are drawn to think about Jesus’ circumcision just eight days later. What was the purpose of this in the life of Jesus?
Circumcision in the Scriptures has the connotation of the removal of sin from the offender. We know that the circumcision of the male child was the sign of the Covenant between God and Israel. So why did the Creator of all things, Immanuel, God in human flesh, have to be circumcised? Surely it was not for sin, as we know that in Him there is no sin. And it was not to be included in the Covenant that He created. There must have been another reason.
Like Jesus’ baptism His circumcision was to “fulfill all righteousness”. As fully man, while never ceasing to be fully God, Jesus would walk in all the paths and traditions of His creation. As a Jewish child He too would be circumcised. Yet, there was another transaction that took place when Jesus was circumcised – He took on Himself the responsibility to fulfill the entire Law. Galatians 5:13 says – “And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.”
No man had ever been able to keep the “whole law”. Again in Galatians we read – “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Every man, woman, and child were under a curse. Death and sin held them captive because they could not fulfill the righteous requirements of the law – BUT JESUS DID! Jesus took upon Himself the obligation to fulfill the Law and lived a perfect and sinless life so that He could be the perfect and sinless substitute for our sin.
Galatians 5:13-14 declares – “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
The day Jesus was born the promise of salvation entered into the world. The day Jesus was circumcised the curse of the law began to be broken. The day Jesus died the blessing of Abraham was made available to all who would believe. The day Jesus rose again from the dead the promise of the Spirit through faith became a reality. This all began when Jesus took upon Himself the full obligation of mankind – the day He was circumcised.
Lord, thank You for your willingness to fulfill all righteousness and to bear the penalty of our sins. Thank you for the indescribable gift of our salvation. In Jesus Name!