Friday, January 01, 2010

A Covenant with Man, Sealed in the Flesh

Luke 2:21 -- When eight days were completed for His circumcision, the child was named Jesus (Joshua or Yeshua in Hebrew), the name given Him by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Galatians 4:4-5 -- When the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.

Genesis 17:1-13 -- When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said:
"I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless. Between you and me I will establish my covenant, and I will multiply you exceedingly."
When Abram prostrated himself, God continued to speak to him:
"My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations. I will render you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings shall stem from you. I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God."
God also said to Abraham:
"On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you that you must keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. Circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the mark of the covenant between you and me. Throughout the ages, every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised, including houseborn slaves and those acquired with money from any foreigner who is not of your blood. Yes, both the houseborn slaves and those acquired with money must be circumcised. Thus my covenant shall be in your flesh as an everlasting pact."

Joshua 3:1-2, 5-6, 14-17; 4:10-11, 15-18; 5:2-7 -- Joshua moved with all the Israelites from Shittim to the Jordan, where they lodged before crossing over. Three days later . . . Joshua also said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will perform wonders among you." And he directed the priests to take up the ark of the covenant and go on ahead of the people; and they did so. . . .
The people struck their tents to cross the Jordan, with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant ahead of them. No sooner had these priestly bearers of the ark waded into the waters at the edge of the Jordan, which overflows all its banks during the entire season of the harvest, than the waters flowing from upstream halted. . . . Thus the people crossed over opposite Jericho. While all Israel crossed over on dry ground, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD remained motionless on dry ground in the bed of the Jordan until the whole nation had completed the passage.
The priests carrying the ark remained in the bed of the Jordan until everything had been done that the LORD had commanded Joshua to tell the people. The people crossed over quickly, and when all had reached the other side, the ark of the LORD, borne by the priests, also crossed to its place in front of them. . . .
Then the LORD said to Joshua,
"Command the priests carrying the ark of the commandments to come up from the Jordan."
Joshua did so, and when the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come up from the bed of the Jordan, as the soles of their feet regained the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan resumed their course and as before overflowed all its banks. . . .
On this occasion the LORD said to Joshua,
"Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelite nation for the second time."
So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath-haaraloth . . . Now the Israelites had wandered forty years in the desert, until all the warriors among the people that came forth from Egypt died off because they had not obeyed the command of the LORD. For the LORD swore that He would not let them see the land flowing with milk and honey which He had promised their fathers He would give us. It was the children whom He raised up in their stead whom Joshua circumcised, for these were yet with foreskins, not having been circumcised on the journey.

CCC 527-- Jesus' circumcision, on the eighth day after His birth, is the sign of His incorporation into Abraham's descendants, into the people of the covenant. It is the sign of His submission to the Law and His deputation to Israel's worship, in which He will participate throughout His life. This sign prefigures that "circumcision of Christ" which is Baptism.


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