Circumcision Saturday – What are your thoughts?
I received this question after teaching of about the Sign of the Covenant. An interesting way to look at it.
What do you think?
Please tell me is you think i’m pressing the bible text with these thoughts. I think the Holy Spirit was impressing upon me that 1) Abraham was, in circumcision, making himself a living sacrifice in that in response to God’s directive he and his chosen people were offering themselves to the covenant promise wholeheartedly. They were self-purifying before there was a sacrificial system, but using their personal body as a foreshadowing of what Jesus would later do. Abraham was preparing himself to beget God’s chosen seed in Isaac. And he and his household were in faith and deed commiting an act in belief that set them apart as God’s chosen. I realize that Jesus was the first and only man to offer His body to God to show personal dedication to the will of God, and the initiation of the New Covanant started as a response to that (Heb. 5,10,16-20, esp. 20). Do you think circumcision could be an OT foreshadowing of Jesus offering His body to establish God’s chosen people?
Hi, Daniel – I remember Jack Hayford giving a teaching on this and his angle was that Abram was called to be the father of many nations. But that part of his anatomy that was to sire many nations was dead (cf. Rom. 4 – he came to the age where he was sterile). God gave life to his dead member and circumcision was the sign of that which was dead now being alive. Jack’s take was that circumcision was a sign of resurrection and new life. More than Abram offering his body to God as a sacrifice, it was God offering His life to Abram as power to accomplish the promise and the fulfillment of the promise necessitated life coming from death. Anyway – it sounded good to me.
The Christological perspective breaks down in that there was nothing in Christ that was dead.
That’s possible, Tim, IF you accept Jack Hayford’s take as “gospel”. Sure, I could see that…but off the cuff, I could see what Daniel is saying, too.
Interesting thoughts, Sr. Fusco. The possibility of a “foreshadowing” could maybe float.
Definitely something to mull over and to muse on 🙂
Living in a culture where circumcision is a HUGE deal, let me say that it is primarily an identification issue. It allows everyone to know you are part of the community (believe me, everyone know if you are cut or uncut). I do not want to look through a fallen cultural situation and apply it to the Bible, I would rather take the Bible and look through it at the situation, but I think circumcision today is the same in the Bible; it identified who was part of the covenant.
So yes, for whatever it is worth, I agree that it was a symbol that God was setting apart Abraham and his descendents as His chosen. Though open, I have a harder time seeing it as foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus. I’m totally down with God gathering/creating a people and giving them a uniform, and I’m intrigued by the thought of foreshadowing, but not enough to preach it.
1. Circumcision of Abraham and
The dangling 1. Circumcision… is when I started to make out a list of comparisons of the cutting of Abraham and the atonement of Jesus. Not meant to cause confusion…
Honestly, I think both miss the mark of what’s going on with the sign of the covenant. The key is Phil 3:3 “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,” and Rom 2:25-29.
As God told Samuel “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
As it said in Romans 4 circumcision was a sign, a seal of the righteousness which he had…
Also consider what’s said in Deut 10:12-17… verse 17 tying in with Romans 2 above and seen also in Jer 9:25,26
So, when we start looking at things spiritually, as God said to Samuel, it takes on a whole different perspective than those offered.