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01/01/2017

EVERYTHING IS NEW

And at the end of eight days ... He was circumcised ...
(Luke 2:21).
 
New Year's Day was always an exciting new beginning.
If the old year had brought us pain and misery, we
could rejoice that it was over, gone, behind us. And in
the dawning of a new day, there was the hope the New
Year would be so much better.
 
This day was also a new beginning for the Baby Jesus.
Jesus is eight days old, and it is now time to circumcise
Him, according to the Law of the Lord. This ceremony
made Jesus a member of God's people Israel. It also
bound Him under the Law, obligating Him to keep that
Law perfectly. As our Substitute, Jesus perfectly obeyed
God's Law, so His perfection, holiness and righteousness
might be ours, covering our failings, our flaws, and our
sins.
 
But His circumcision carries with it the reminder that
Jesus will not simply cover our sin, He will remove it from
us -- forever. On this eighth day of His young life, Jesus
first sheds His blood for us, but it will certainly not be the
last time He does this. On a dark day some 30 years into
the future, Jesus will shed His blood and die on the cross
to satisfy God's wrath against our sins.
 
The symbolism of His circumcision and our Baptism both
remind us of God's work, cutting off our sinful nature or
drowning it. In Baptism God makes us new creatures, so
we can stand before Him spotless and pure through Jesus
Christ.
 
What a way to start a New Year!
 
THE PRAYER:
 
Lord Jesus, in Your circumcision Your blood was first shed
as our Substitute. Cut the sin from our hearts, that we may
enter this New Year in Your holiness and purity. Amen.
 
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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