Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. 25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
Here was, no doubt, Jesus’ first public appearance. He was 8 days old. Mary had given birth to him in a stable. After that she had to rest. Childbearing is called travail in the Bible and it takes a while to recover. Then it was called the days of purification and she would rest. No doubt a room became available in the inn. The census crowd would be gone so Joseph and Mary and the baby could move. No doubt someone found room for Jesus. That’s our aim especially each Christmas and Easter–to help someone see their need to make room for Jesus. Eight days later they took Jesus from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. That’s about like going from Chilhowie to Saltville or to Marion. Jerusalem was the capital city. According to the Law of Moses, on the 8th day a male child was to be circumcised and presented to the Lord. A promise was made to Abraham that through his child all the earth would be blessed. That came through Jesus. Now the 8th day, they went to Jerusalem. Some people walked on by them, but some took note. This is what we need to do: take note of the Son of God.
I want us to note a few things.
- The rite of circumcision: Moses confirmed that this was a sign under the Law. When he did this to his children, they were not babies. His wife called him a bloody man. It is not a pleasant experience, so Jesus suffered at 8 days old by shedding blood. He did this so that he could cut sin from our heart. Paul would later call it a circumcision of the heart. At salvation we are cut free from the sin in our life.
- Jesus was officially named. He was called Jesus because God had already named him that. It was confirmed by angels to Joseph in a dream. Joseph and Mary would have been calling him that already. Mommie called me Bobbie, but it wasn’t really official until the doctor wrote it down, sent it in and it was recorded in Richmond. This is what happened with the priest. Jesus was circumcised and his name spoken out by the priest. Remember your name. God gave you one when you were saved. You are now Christian.
- Jesus was presented unto the Lord. It was a public presentation with a sacrifice. Joseph brought turtle doves or pigeons. His name was Jesus, but it wasn’t complete until the sacrifice was made. With circumcision he shed his blood. It would be his sacrifice, not that of doves or pigeons, that would enable us to have salvation.
A man named Simeon was there and heard all this. He’d been waiting for this day. He’d been told by God that he wouldn’t die before seeing the Messiah. He took the baby Jesus in his arms and said Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation. A woman named Anna heard this. She was an elderly woman now, a widow of 84 years. She had married young. When this happened she told everyone around there about it. We need to be like Simeon and Anna. Be looking for the coming of the Lord.
This all happened on the 8th day. From the birth to circumcision–8 days. Jesus was probably born in the spring of the year. Observing it in December is a Roman tradition. However, we are governed by the Gregorian Calendar. Jesus saved us by his sacrifice and presented us to the Father. The beginning of a new year is on the 8th day from Christmas. How can a New Year not be a happy one! He’s been sacrificed for our sins. He bled on the 8th day. Whatever this year brings, we’re under the sacrifice of Jesus. Make this year a new start. Christmas is not an ending. It’s evermore a beginning and we can begin anew.