Monday, December 31, 2012

Name of Jesus Eve

You see that no one of you be captured through the philosophy and purposeless deception according to what is handed down of mankind, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ; because in Him inhabited all the fullness of deity, bodily, and you are, in Him, made full; Who is the head of all rule and authority. In which also you are circumcised in a handless circumcision in the discarding of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of the Christ, having been buried in Him in the Baptism, in which also you were raised up through the faith of the working of God, the One Who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in the sins and in the uncircumcision of your heart, He made you alive together with Him, having graciously forgiven in us all sins.         
The world will tell you that you are not good enough. Just like everything advertised is “new & improved”, the philosophy of this age is that you too must strive to be all you can be. But you never get there. You will never be complete. You will never be your full self. You will never be perfect. Yet this world’s mantra is “strive, struggle, and strain” every waking moment of the day until you get there. But you never will. That’s the rub. It’s an empty promise this world gives. It’s just plain deception.
But the message of Christ Jesus is that He has been circumcised for you! “Huh?” you might respond. That’s right, Jesus is circumcised for you, so that you may be made full. Without him, you remain unfulfilled, imperfect, incomplete, working so hard to obtain that which you can never achieve. But in the circumcision of the Christ, you are made to be what God desires. Your failures are no more. They are replaced with the successes of your God, Who alone does the mighty works to make you full!
Now, we should back-track a bit. Jesus is circumcised on the 8th day of his young life as your Savior. He enters that day into a covenant of works, one in which you fail miserably. This covenant was a simple one. God promised to be Israel’s God, and they promised to be His people. God did His job perfectly. The people of Israel, however, did not. They broke all of God’s commandments, and they acted like anything but God’s Own people. So have you. You have violated God’s laws time and again.
But not Jesus. He entered into this covenant-agreement of circumcision with every intention of keeping God’s commandments perfectly. And He did! Jesus was holy, just as God the Father is holy, because Jesus is God too. In Him all the fulness of god-ness dwelt in His body. So He could accomplish what nobody before or since could. Jesus was obedient to all of God’s laws, without fail, earning by His perfect works the prize above all prizes–eternal life in the paradise of heaven above.
But Jesus wasn’t selfish. He did not want to keep this prize all to Himself. In fact, He loved you so much that He was willing to give up that gift of everlasting life, and instead, take death, the death you deserved because of your sin, as His very Own. Your body of sinful flesh Jesus took upon Himself at the cross. Your deadly sin, and uncircumcised heart--Jesus took from you. All your sins He took into His body, and then buried them forevermore in the tomb. Your sins are graciously forgiven in Jesus.
So now His circumcision into all of this law-keeping yet death-receiving becomes your own circumcision too. You are circumcised into Jesus at your baptism. Just as folks joined God’s people Israel through the sacrament of circumcision, so too have you joined the Church of Christ Jesus by your baptism. God has joined you to Jesus in your baptism, connecting you to His death, burial, and resurrection! You are made alive together with Jesus. Your baptism is into the circumcision of Christ!
So when you hear “circumcision” of Jesus, think “that’s my baptism!”. For baptism is a circumcision of sorts, though without the use of human hands. Instead of a person cutting off a small piece of flesh, God makes your baptism a circumcision of your whole sinful flesh! God takes away all the sinfulness of your body of flesh and discards it into the body of Jesus at the cross.  God cuts off of you all of your sinful flesh at your baptism, and nails it to Jesus on the tree, where He dies your death in your place .   

Jesus does all of this for you for your “fullness”. Not some sort of human potential you must work hard to realize someday. No, the fullness God desires for you He Himself works to accomplish in Christ Jesus. Just as the “fullness” of the God-head inhabited Jesus’ human body, so to does Jesus give you the fullness which you really need. This fullness is found in that same body of Jesus, which He gives to you to eat this day for the forgiveness of your sins; the only fullness you’ll ever need.


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