Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Preparing for the Presentation of Christ in The Temple

A repost:

No doubt there’s more to say here, but I’ve been helped by the way Revd Dr Paul Blackham of All Souls’, Langham Place, analyses the 3 ceremonies Luke mentions in chapter 2 that might shed light on the coming Messiah:

Circumcision (v21). In Genesis 17 the giving of circumcision as the bloody sign of the covenant and its implementation sandwiches the renewing of the promise of the seed through Isaac. It is perhaps in part a way of looking forward to the birth of the Messiah.

Redemption of the Firstborn (v23). In the Passover all the people deserve judgement but the first born male stands in for or represents the nation, bearing the wrathful punishment of God, unless a lamb dies in the place of the firstborn. Exodus 13 commands that firstborn males always have to be redeemed, just as if the people of God were still in captivity in Egypt. The firstborn Son is still to come to die as a substitute in the place of the people, bearing the wrath of God, releasing God’s people from slavery.

The ceremonial purification of Mary after childbirth (vv22, 24, cf. Leviticus 12). The pain of childbearing comes from God’s curse against sin in Genesis 3. It is through the birth of a child that the curse will be removed. Jesus will, of course, bring cleansing to his people and access to God. 

Blackham’s sermon, The Child Who Divides (sermon code D040/03, 29th Dec 2002) is available on the All Souls’ website.

1 comment:

Thomas Renz said...

Thank you. You've prompted me to put up some of my notes from last year: http://hadleyrectory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/life-is-fatal-disease.html