Sermons

Circumcision and Name of JESUS (Lk 2:21)

January 1, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

“Unto us Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” INI + AMEN.

The Child was born, the Son was given, but why? Why was He born? Why was He given? Well, as we confess, He “for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven.” Why did He need to be given at all? Because we can’t save ourselves. This is why, ****when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”** What we couldn’t do, Jesus did. The Law demands us to have complete faith (no doubt) in God, who saved us through His Son; the Law demands that we have complete heartfelt love for our neighbor.

That is the righteousness that God demands in the Law. For this we are cursed and condemned. Rightfully so! But this 8th day of Christmas, the Circumcision of our Lord, we rejoice that “the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” For “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’).”

((2. JESUS is Yahweh who saves.))

That’s was Jesus was all about. It’s what was promised. It was proclaimed by the angel “before he was conceived in the womb.” But it wasn’t just spoken about by an angel. This Savior, Jesus, was “He whom seers in old time Chanted of with one accord, Whom the voices of the prophets Promised in their faithful word.” Prophets foretold what He would come and do. Isaiah did: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed…[Yahweh] has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Not only is Jesus the One Yahweh promised, but He’s also Yahweh. As the Angel said, “He will be great and called Son of the Highest, and Yahweh God will give Him the throne of His Father David….the Holy One born will be called Son of God.” The Father is Yahweh, Jesus is Yahweh in the Flesh, and the Spirit is Yahweh, too. This is why the blessing Yahweh gives in Deuteronomy is “Yahweh bless…Yahweh make His face shine…Yahweh lift up His countenance.” Jesus is Yahweh in the flesh, promised to come and save His people.

In fact, this is why when Yahweh comes in the flesh, He wants to be called “Jesus.” Jesus means “Yahweh saves.” Yes, the angel told Mary, “You will call His name JESUS,” but the angel told Joseph why, “Because He will save His people from their sins.” Jesus, “Yahweh Saves,” is Yahweh who saves, as promised.

((1. JESUS was under the Law.))

So, how does Jesus, “Yahweh who saves,” save? Well, we know the Christmas Gospel, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The infinite and eternal God becomes limited and bound by time. God was born. He grew. The Eternal One was eight days old! “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see!” In Him, in the little child, eight days old, was the fulness of God. He would go one to live 33 more years, of course, but the One who formed the planets and sun had, who set them in motion, and upholds and sustains them in their courses, at this point in our Gospel text, had lived through eight rotations of the earth.

It’s more than just God is one of us. Because He is born it means that He’s born under the Law. The Law Giver submits Himself to the Law. He who is over the Law, greater than the Law, is under it. He perfectly fulfills the Law. He cherishes the Law, He guards it, He does it, and what He does counts for you. It counts for us because He is one of us, being “born under the Law to redeem those under the Law.”

He is the “sin offering,” as Isaiah says. He is placed under the Law—under its judgment. He was under its judgment because Jesus is also the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. “He who knew no sin, becomes our sin,” as Paul says. To redeem us from sin, He must shed His blood for our sins. He does this on the cross, but even at eight days old Jesus, is obedient to the Law, shedding His blood, being circumcised for you.

That’s what today is all about.

JESUS, YAHWEH WHO SAVES, SHEDS HIS BLOOD UNDER THE LAW FOR YOU.

He does this at eight days old, undergoing the rite of circumcision. He is completely obedient to the Law, even though He gave it. The eternal God was born under the Law to save you. Jesus is God; He is Yahweh who saves. He sheds His blood to do it. He redeems you from the Law with that blood, which is far more precious than gold or silver. His blood He gives you. To seal you, to mark you as forgiven, to strengthen your faith in that forgiveness, to enrich your love for others by the love He’s shown you. A love seen in His cross and empty tomb, a love shown at eight days old when He is circumcised and given the name above all names: Jesus, Yahweh who saves, who saves you.

“Unto us Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” INI + AMEN.

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