January 1, 2023 (The Seventh Day toward Epiphany)
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise Him, He was named Jesus, He who saves, the name given to Him by God who had spoken it to them through His angel, Gabriel before He was conceived.” (Luke 2.21)
And so it began, on the eighth day in Bethlehem, that Satan, who had been put on notice on the eighth day in the Garden of Eden, was officially served his warning of “This is the time!” We remember the warning God spoke to the Serpent when God passed on the sentences of judgment following Adam and Eve’s confession of wrongdoing. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden covered by the blood and the skin of the lamb. Adam would toil from the soil. Eve would conceive and bear children with great pain. They would walk all the days of their lives on earth but not as they would in the Garden and definitely not as they would in Heaven. But, God had determined that the seed of Eve would one day rise up and crush the Serpent‘s head as he would bite at the heel of the One who was crushing him. The world of faith had been waiting for this moment to arrive. Like the Hebrew children who were led by Moses through the Wilderness of Sin and came upon an unavoidable valley of serpents, now those who would call upon the name of the Lord would be able to look down and see what was happening. Remember when Jesus alluded to “Just as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, so too, must the Son of Man be lifted up.” He wasn’t “lifting up” the serpent to praise him. Moses had received the word of God on how to deliver the people safely through the valley of the shadow of death. A crafted form of a serpent was put on the end of Moses’ staff and lifted up so all the people would have a common focal point. Those who kept their eyes on it would be kept safe from the sting of death. You may hear the song of the early Church which Paul recorded for posterity, “Where, o death, is your victory? Where, o death, is your sting?” Now, the time had come for the sons and daughters of men to see their redemption come to fruition. Those who would believe that Jesus is the Christ and would keep their eyes on Him, yes even Him on the cross, would be saved. But, it didn’t mean that sin would not attempt to take a bite out of their walk. It did and it continues to do so. But, now it is because the snake of sin is caught in its death throes. It, because of the power of Jesus and His name, writhes and wriggles under foot with its head covered by the heel of the One whose sandal we are not worthy to untie.
And the protection of that One comes in being consecrated and called by name. His name was, is and will always be Jesus, Yeshua, “He who saves His people.” He was circumcised according to the Law of His people in order that they might know He is the One who is to come. But, it was not circumcision which saved Him nor does it save us. Rather, it was circumcision which marked Him with the sign of the covenant of Old so that the New Covenant could and would be established. The “Age of the Temple” was coming to a close. It’s function was now nearly done. And as “one door closes,” so does another door open. And it was opening now with the birth and celebration of “Jesus!” The new age of faith in God was given a new name. It was the “Age of the Church,” ecclesia. It was the “Age of the People who are known by the name of God’s Only Son who is, was and will always be the Christ.” It would take the rest of His earthly life to finally “bring down the House” so that He could renovate it as the “house not built by human hand eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5.1) But, we know that in that place where Jesus would be taken to be consecrated and given over into the service of the Lord, on the day of His death, the curtain of the Holy of Holies would be torn in two and left dangling in a lack of opportunity to “do its work.” No matter of stitchery would restore its power and glory as from God. It would only be through the very “sheep door” of the Lamb of God that people would be able to enter in and pass through for eternal life, safety and satisfaction. It would be an epiphany of the “way, truth and life” by which, as Jesus proclaimed in eternal promise, those who would believe would enter into God’s presence where no other would be able to go. Heaven was opening up little by little and the glory of God would be more and more visible in the name of Jesus. Oh, that eighth day revival! The time has come and is now as we start anew and afresh on the Day of the Lord. This is the day which the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it!
Father, we hold fast to the truth of Your Word. We have true life where that Word speaks and becomes real in our heart, mind, body and soul. We give You thanks for this time of renewal so that all we may say and do in Jesus’ name will have full effect and bring glory and honor to Your name as did Your Son. AMEN.