It is said when Jesus met Simeon, re: my last message, He had just been dedicated in the Temple. It was customary all males to be dedicated on the 8th day after their birth. Presented to the priests, and their name is given, beyond circumcision done.
It was there that Jesus was named. It is a quite prophetic dimension to the Christmas story, and as I have been on this “voyage” of discovery in the Scriptures, regarding Christmas, speaks not just to a babe, but a King, not just to 2000 years ago, but today. It is in this multi layered dimension we can discern what God desires to do in our day, and our role in that work.
Jesus’ circumcision brings us into Abraham’s covenant
The circumcision process is one ascribed to the covenant God made with Abraham. We first see the full manifestation of this covenant, in Scripture in Genesis 47 when Jacob settles in Goshen. They experience 3 blessings of the covenant… 1) Possessions 2) Fruitfulness 3) Multiplication.
When you take and study Goshen down, you see a family transition to become a nation. I discern that the new kairos we are walking into now, is one of Goshen, we shall truly transition as a Church to become the Holy Nation God ordained us to be. It is in Goshen that God sections off from the rest of Egypt in the judgments God had to bring to bring His people out. How much more in our end days will God bring us into our Goshen to bring judgments upon the earth. Great darkness can come but in our “Goshen” we shall experience light. Much has been said this last year concerning all the pandemic, the measures, the restrictions, there is about to come a sectioning off by God, where our “Goshen” will distinguish us from the world. We need to become a Holy Nation and then a Royal Priesthood. Galatians 3 says we receive all the blessings of the covenant of Abraham, through Christ. Whilst in Abraham there was circumcision of flesh, in Christ is the circumcision of the heart where our will is submitted and grafted into Him via our death to our self.
When you consider what I have written above concerning the transitions of a family to a holy nation, the transition to a Royal Priesthood was never complete. In Exodus 19 we see Israel deposit the responsibility in Moses, and changed their verbal commitment to a denial by their actions. This transition is made complete in Christ. 1 Peter 2:9 tells us the finality of that transition.
Look at Peter’s description: 1. Chosen generation 2. Royal priesthood 3. Holy nation 4. A peculiar people. So we are are that generation of priests made into a nation of holy people. How marvellous is our description of our identity. We are not just priests, but priests with Royal blood. Birthed into this Blood line via the Holy Spirit in the same way Jesus was conceived in Mary.
The declaration of His Name in His Dedication is prophetic of the eternal declaration which Paul declares in Philippians 2.
In this Dedication ceremony, the name of the Baby is established. Just as Gabriel said “His Name shall be Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” Mary and Joseph agreed with the Divine choosing through the angels. His name means “And He shall save”. And Paul takes it one step further in Philippians 2, when it says every tongue and every knee shall bow at the declaration of the Name of Jesus. This small declaration in the Temple would foreshadow a day when this declaration would ring out over the nations in evangelism and the preaching of the Gospel. We are 1 year away from the death of Reinhard Bonnke, great evangelist to Africa, who proclaimed that Jesus is Lord. This battle cry saw the salvation of millions. However there comes a day when this declaration marks the end of time and the beginning of eternity, the end of nations and the beginning of Kingdom, the end of Babylon and the beginning of the New Jerusalem.
When the priests are oblivious their Temple becomes obsolete
The dedication was to fulfil all righteousness, the prophetic words, the divine encounters with Simeon and Anna, were in a time when the temple priests who looked after Jesus’ dedication were totally oblivious to who this baby was, and God did not choose to open their eyes. For them this dedication was like any other. Does that not strike you? Does not that tell you that when ministry becomes a ritual and routine that God is about to sweep away the current structure? It would take 33 years for the Temple curtain to be torn from bottom to top, exposing the empty Holy Place.
The one thing about 2020 is that ministry as usual was swept away. No more the blessing words were enough without Biblical substance . The church meetings were closed down, altars empty, candles put out, church doors closed. Worship groups could not imbibe the sensation of the congregation or the goosebumps of the lights and smoke! This is swept away in the name of a pandemic. Could not God have moved upon the “oblivious priests” who cannot discern the new thing God has brought in. The whole spiritual demographic has changed…its time to know why, and know how to flow in it. God used this crisis to give a clean sweep to Church as usual, the whole performance was closed down. Who did not survive well were those who made ministry their life, without life becoming ministry.
Whilst for one people is glory the Gentiles are revealed for them to bring the revelation back to the Jews for their Glory.
Simeon’s prophecy opens the way for horizons that suddenly made that majestic temple small at the magnitude of that plan that the prophecy began to unveil. Jesus would start a process which would open the way for covenant to Gentiles as a revelation which would turn into a Glory for Israel as they recognise the revelation of the covenant to Gentiles is the same as that of their fathers of faith. This dedication sets in motion the great restoration of the Jews…through the Gentiles…for the Jews would momentarily reject this Messiah, to allow Gentiles to receive the revelation, which the Jews walked out through the stones of their own law, their own imperfections, their own iniquity, their Captivity…Yet throughout God would bring His Elect back.
How God is so marvellous in His ways! This Christmas Message enters into our soul breaking our smallness and opening up to His Greatness. May we receive this message in its depth.
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