Luke 2:21: The Circumcision of Christ
This morning in preparation for Christmas I would like to impress upon us the dark side of Christmas. There is no end to the frosted idyllic scenes of a cute cherubic baby Jesus with a glowing halo. He is surrounded with raptured smiling faces, while ‘no crying He makes’. Many in order to avoid the distinctly gospel and Christian aspects of Christmas have amplified the cuteness, and fixated on the birth of a baby. But today I want to cast a shadow over the birth. The shape of that shadow is in the form of a bloody blade. I want us to read together Luke 2:21, ‘And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.’ This verse would ordinarily stand out because this is the verse where Jesus is named. Many would rush over the part where on the eighth day he was circumcised. But this is the part I want us to consider as we remember the birth of Jesus this morning. This first shedding of the Saviour’s blood and as it relates to His work in saving us from our sins.
Have you ever noticed that 8 days after Christmas Eve, on the day Jesus was circumcised we have New Year’s Day? The New Year begins with what has traditionally been called the feast of the circumcision. Some Christian traditions have emphasized Mary on this occasion but today as we think about the birth of Jesus I want us to ponder the importance of Christ’s circumcision. We have two aspects we want to consider. Firstly, we will look at where circumcision in the bible began and how it anticipated Christ, and then we will try and unpack some of its significance.