21 When the child was eight days old, he was circumcised. At the same time he was named Jesus. This was the name the angel had given him before his mother became pregnant. 22 The time came for making Mary “clean” as required by the Law of Moses. So Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem. There they presented him to the Lord. 23 In the Law of the Lord it says, “The first boy born in every family must be set apart for the Lord.” (Exodus 13:2,12) 24 They also offered a sacrifice. They did it in keeping with the Law, which says, “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” (Leviticus 12:8)
It’s amazing how quickly we can forget mighty God moments in our life. I can imagine after the miracles that occurred at Jesus birth, Mary and Joseph would’ve have quickly settled down into business as usual. In the next reading they will be shocked back into an awe over their child while they are at the temple, but first some thoughts about Jesus’s dedication.
Every first born in Israel had to be dedicated according to the Old Testament Law. This goes back to the exodus from Egypt around 2000 years before Jesus. The first born boys of Egypt died in the plague, whereas the firstborn boys of Israel were from then on dedicated to the Lord.
Jesus came to live truly dedicated to the Lord God, to be a true son of Israel. He would fulfil the Law of the Old Testament, but would go even further. He would mediate a new covenant between the people of God and God himself. Just as he was presented before God at 8 days old and dedicated, now he dedicates to God all who trust and believe in Him; believe in the power of his death to cleanse us of all sin, believe in the power of his resurrection to raise us up again.
Lord we are dedicated to our God in your name, we have eternal hope and unending joy, even in the face of death, for you have presented us holy before God forever and ever. Amen!
Written by Andrew Mellor