the circumcision of Christ

Today on many church calendars we remember the circumcision of Christ. On the eighth day in keeping with the law given through Moses, Joseph and Mary took the baby Jesus to the priest to be circumcised (Luke 2:21). Circumcision was the sign of belonging to God’s people, the mark and sign of the covenant.

In becoming human, Christ entered fully into God’s will for humanity, into the covenant by which God would save the world. Christ was subjected fully to obedience to the law, in other words he went through what it meant to be completely complicit to the old covenant.

In doing so, the goal of that covenant could be realized: the end result in part being a circumcision performed by Christ himself on all who are baptized and have faith. The circumcison of Christ is something he does, not us. Because of that we can live accordingly, in fact we are responsible to do so. Christ performed on us what he alone could fulfill as both God, and as the fully obedient human. By the Spirit, God’s work of circumcision is performed on us in and through Christ, the one who was circumcised as a little baby boy so many years ago.

In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Colossians 2:11-12



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