Monday, January 1, 2007

The Circumcision of Our Lord

Today is New Year's Day, of course, so "Happy New Year!" The first day of the calendar year coincides with the festival in the Church Year of the Circumcision of Jesus. I don't imagine too many people are ringing in the new year thinking about Jesus being circumcised. But there aren't too many better things to think about, actually, at the beginning of a new year. The reason the festival falls on the first day of the year is because it's eight days after the celebration of Christ's birth and circumcision was performed on the eighth day.

The circumcision of Christ is similar to the Baptism of Christ. Jesus was not Baptized for Himself. He didn't need to be cleansed of sin, He is sinless. In the same way, He didn't need to be circumcised either. He underwent these things in fulfillment of God's Law, obeying the Law in perfection, unlike us. Jesus not only saved us by suffering our punishment for not obeying the Law, He also accomplished what we could not and have not: fulfilling God's Law.

At the same time, Jesus was also enduring the suffering for our sin, even as an infant. His blood was shed on the eight day of His life as He was circumcised. This points to the greater sacrifice He made when on the cross His blood was shed for the sins of the world.

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