December 19 - Jesus Presented in the Temple

Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19 - Jesus Presented in the temple - Luke 2:21-24

Luke tells of several events in these 4 verses that are actually spread out over an expanded period of time. First of all, Jesus is circumcised and he is named. Notice the timing here. He wasn't actually named at his birth. That comes at the point of circumcision. The same thing happened for John the Baptist (Luke 1:59-60).

The purification that is spoken of in Luke 2:22 is that of Mary's. This occurs 40 days after childbirth (Leviticus 12:1-8). She is required to present herself at the temple with a sacrifice. Of course, the temple is in Jerusalem, so the family makes the trek from Bethlehem to Jerusalem.

The law also required that the firstborn son be consecrated. In essence, they had to 'redeem' Jesus. Every firstborn was actually offered to God, but the family would purchase him back at a cost of five shekels (Numbers 18:15-16). Firstborn animals were always offered as a sacrifical offering. Isn't God amazing? The redemption of the world comes through a first-born child, an offering, a sacrifice. Each part of Jesus' life pointed to the Father.

Leviticus 12:8 allows that instead of a Lamb, two turtledoves could be offered if the woman bringing the sacrifice was poor. Again, the Lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice came from a woman who didn't have the money to bring a lamb to the altar of sacrifice after His birth.

The word 'law' is used five times in Luke 2:21-40. Jesus came as an infant to a family that knew only the laws of God. By doing so, he allowed himself to be brought under the law, beginning with circumcision. Galatians 5:3-5 says, "Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law."

Jesus came to us through the law. He gave Himself up because of the Law. He freed us through His sacrificial offering.

The Savior, the Redeemer is here!