To the Jews, circumcision symbolized their covenant with God. With the Christian church rising from the their foundations, confusion came in when certain Jewish Christians believed it to be a required rite. Paul instructs the church about the circumcision not made by hands. He writes about the power of the cross to bring life to the dead, to erase the list of requirements against those who are in Christ and to emasculate the enemy.
Life to the Dead
Paul tells his readers “in Him you were also circumcised.” This surgery for the Christian however, is done without hands. God deals with the sins of our flesh through the cross of Christ. In the letter to the Romans Paul says, “our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Here he speaks of circumcision, being buried with Christ in baptism and being raised with Him by believing in God’s work of raising Jesus from the dead. Now because of faith, we who once were dead in our trespasses and sins and the nature of our flesh, have been made alive, together, with Him. All of our trespasses, have been forgiven. The power of the cross provided it.
Erase the List of Requirements
There was a list, written by hand. On it were all the things against us. I can picture the accuser of the brethren standing in front of God’s throne. Each of His children are also there. He is pointing at the list and bringing charges against them before the Father. Jesus is also there, the historical Jesus on the cross, having done an eternal work for all generations. The list is gone, wiped out, no longer in the way. Jesus took it to the cross and nailed it there. No longer can the enemy accuse those who are in Christ Jesus. The cross eliminated it.
Emasculation of the Enemy
Remember the darkness about the cross when Jesus cried out in despair, “My God, My God why have You forsaken me?” Imagine the enemy thinking he has won, the taste of victory on his tongue, having killed God’s precious Son. Then the sun rises on resurrection morning and an earthquake not only opens the tomb, but disarms all principalities and powers. Then He makes a spectacle of them, not just on this one day in history, but for all eternity, a public spectacle. The Lord Jesus Christ has triumphed over death. The cross emasculated the enemy.
Paul has written of the circumcision of Christ. He describes it as the power of the cross to bring life to the dead, to erase the list of requirements against us and to emasculate the enemy.