Monday, January 2, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Circumcision of our Lord
Dr. Anil Chacko
Long Island MTC, NY 
14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

According to Jewish tradition, a male child was circumcised eight days after his birth- a tradition that was part of the covenant between the Jewish people and God.  According to the 14th century work, Golden Legend, the circumcision of Jesus was, perhaps, the first time Jesus shed blood and it was the beginning of the process of the redemption of man, and the establishment of a new covenant between God and man.
The old covenant required a particular setting (a tabernacle), whereby a mediator (high priest) would offer a blood sacrifice for sins.  The sacrifice was a symbol of forgiveness –it did not, however, remove sin from man.(Heb.10:04) The given passage in Hebrews is a reminder of the new covenant God has with man through Christ. Christ provided a “more perfect tabernacle that is not made of human hands” and Christ’s blood “cleansed” us so that we may be right with God. Simply put, Christ became our mediator to God. No longer were we bound to a place, a time or a symbolic forgiveness through sacrifice offered through a high priest.  God, through His son, offered us an opportunity to lay bare all the remnants of the old covenant—all we need to do is to believe Jesus as our personal Savior.
As we embark on a new year, let us be reminded of this simple yet powerful gift of Grace. As John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. What do we do with such Grace? How do we respond? For us, perhaps the new year is an opportunity, as articulated by Paul, to forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead (Philippians 3:13). To forget about past sins, past failures, and past experiences and to strain toward the purpose of life that God has called each us to live.


Dear Lord, we thank You that we are forgiven through Christ—once and for all. We thank You for Your grace and in response, help us to shed our old self and become anew. Help us to focus on You in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Help us to help others know You and the salvation afforded through Your sacrifice. Amen.

“If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company.”  Charles Spurgeon