Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived. Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child . . .(Luke 2:21-22a NLT)
After the fall festival pilgrims and Roman census travelers returned to their homes, it seems Joseph and Mary were able to find better quarters in Bethlehem. Luke doesn’t say so explicitly, but the new parents appear to have been intent on staying there permanently.
This move makes sense given that both received revelation from an angel that this child was the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. Human reason surely suggested that it would be better to raise this most special of all Jewish boys in close proximity to Jerusalem and the Temple, rather than in far-away Nazareth. And what better place to groom the successor to David’s throne than in David’s hometown? (Of course, this is not God’s plan, but the couple doesn’t know it yet.)
So, they take great pains to do all their ancient faith requires. That includes having the baby boy circumcised on his eighth day. As with his relative, John, who is now six or seven months old, the name is announced at this ceremony. Both angels had been quite specific—Jesus, or Y’shua in Hebrew, was to be the name. And so it was.
This meticulous attention to both Old Testament observance and fulfillment will continue throughout Jesus’ life and ministry. He will one day tell His disciples that He did not come to set aside the law and the prophets but rather to be their fulfillment. (Matthew 5:17) Time and again He will explain His actions and intentions in terms of fulfilling everything the (Old Testament) Scriptures had spoken.
Following His resurrection, in some of His final instruction just prior to His ascension to the throne, He will emphatically point them back to this aspect of His mission:
“Don’t you remember the words that I spoke to you when I was still with you? I told you that I would fulfill everything written about me, including all the prophecies from the law of Moses through the Psalms and the writings of the prophets.” (Luke 24:44 TPT)
There are two vital takeaways for us here. The first is that the entire Old Testament was pointing to Jesus—even though few if any recognized it before He came. As we’ve previously seen, the Bible is story about a Seed and that Seed is Jesus.
Secondly, one of the very best parts of the “good news” of the gospel is that Jesus is our fulfillment of all the Law requires. He did what is impossible for you or any other fallen human: He flawlessly kept the legal requirements of righteousness and acceptance by a Holy God. And simple, childlike faith in Him results in a miraculous transaction/transformation that simultaneously puts you “in Him” and Him in you. (Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 1:3-14) From Heaven’s perspective you literally are “clothed” in Him and His righteousness. (Galatians 3:27)
Prayer of Declaration:
Jesus, my Savior, thank you for perfectly and completely satisfying, for all time, everything that the Law and justice requires on my behalf. I am clothed with You—Your righteousness, Your acceptance, Your authority.