“THE CUTTING OF HIS NAME IN FLESH”
Saint Luke 2. 21
THE EVE OF THE CIRCUMCISION & NAME OF JESUS
31 December Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In The Name
In The Name
In The Name + of Jesus
“And when eight days were accomplished…”
Many Baptismal Fonts have 8 sides because 8 is the mystical (not as in make-believe fantasy or fictional magic but in true transcendent mystery—Sacramental fullness) number for the new beginning and eternal life in the Lord!
God created all that is in 6 days, “rested” on the Seventh, and thus the 8th day was the “new” day, the beginning of all the rest…
There are 8 songs in the Old Testament; the Feast of Tabernacles lasted 8 days; Elijah performed 8 miracles and his successor (given a double portion by the Holy Spirit) performed 16; 8 is the first cubic number, and both the Tabernacle and the Temple are cubic in number; there are 8 resurrections from the dead in Scripture [3 in the Old Testament, 2 in Acts, and 3 in the Evangels]; When the whole earth was covered with the flood, it was Noah "the eighth person" (2 Peter 2:5) who stepped out on to a new earth to commence a new order of things. "Eight souls" (1 Peter 3:20) passed through it with him to the new or regenerated world. The number eight has its greatest significance in that Christ Jesus the God/Man rose from the dead on the 8th day, and thus for two thousand years plus, and forever and ever, Sunday is the Day that His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is brought to meet Him again in all His fullness to receive His gifts! The eighth day Sunday is the First Day of the week and of eternity.
“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child…”
For the great Abrahamic Covenant between the Trinity and Abram was made in Genesis 17: “And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you…And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child…and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”
This Old Covenant which was carried in the flesh of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Moses, Aaron, Samson, Samuel, David, Elias, John Baptizer, and Saint Joseph—Guardian of Our Lord—(and all the other males) was the foreshadowing, the “type” of the true circumcision of the heart, which was fulfilled in Jesus. “And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power:
In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” [Col. 3] Thus your washing of regeneration in an 8-sided + flood of Grace. And hence the salutary inclusion of Luther’s great “flood prayer” in the Church’s Sacrament of Holy Baptism.
But Jesus of Nazareth was not just symbolically marked and covenanted for you; He was cut into and bled for you, He suffered for you, and He had part of His sinless, immaculate, and perfect Flesh cut off for you when He was only 8 days from His Nativity! His Holy Circumcision points to His Atoning Circumcision on Calvary for your sins and the sins of the world. Do you like “precious moments” and cute cuddly soft and nuzzling stuff; do you like sweet babies? Your sins didn’t just pierce Him at age 33, and nail Him onto wood to be asphyxiated with your poisonous deeds, but your daily insults, mutterings, dagger-eyes, gossiping, cruel put-downs and selfish desires, cut into a baby—the Christ Child which so warmed your heart this past December 24th. God the Father is no child abuser…you are! Repent. Repent and believe.
“His name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”
The Christ, the Anointed One of God, is but a title, like King. It is true enough, but it is not His Name. His Name, first given to Moses from the burning bush, is I AM. The Great I AM is Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But His Name now and forever is also the Name given the Second Person from before eternity: JESUS—SAVIOR, for He shall save His people from their sins and from their sin! That Holy Name, “Thou shalt not take the Name of The Lord thy God in vain” is now the Name you call your Brother, which Paul told the Philippians: “that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” [Php. 2.10]
Your baptism is not over or past, for Jesus is not over or past but here tonight to give you His Body and Blood to eat and drink. You will receive the true and real Flesh and Blood that was cut, bled, and given for your sins; you receive it not in an Old Covenant but in a New Testament of His mercy and peace—to you! “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” [Gal. 3. 26-27]
You were given your real name at the font. Your surname, your “second” name, helps the world know from which “tribe” or “clan” you are from. But your first name, your given name, is for a Royal Priest of the Lord’s Church; it’s your “Christian” name for it is Christ’s Name itself. You may think your name is “Joe, Charlie, Emma, or Betty” but it’s not. Your name is who you really are and to Whom you belong. Placed into Jesus’ death + and resurrection, and soon to have the same Jesus placed inside you, you are what you eat—brethren of your Savior. Savior—Saved; Christ—Christians; “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Not “Happy New Year” but Happy Eternity dear Christians in Jesus. Not champagne, cognac or your 11:59 and midnight liquor of choice, but the Bread from Heaven and the elixir of immortality. It is time for “THE” Banquet and “THE” Ever and Ever, world-without-end Toast of Peace and Family for you.
In The Name
In The Name
In The Name + of Jesus