“So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law.”
Continuing on from the Court of the Women, was a magnificent circular fifteen step staircase leading to an entrance called the Nicanor Gate. Through the gate was a narrow hall filled with beautiful columns called the Court of the Israelites. Jewish laymen gathered in the Court of the Israelites for fellowship but primarily to bring and present their various offerings to the priests, on behalf of themselves and their family, for gratefulness and forgiveness. Also, the entrance was the place where Jewish women came on the eighth day after giving birth to a male child for purification rites. The male babies were brought for their naming ceremony and for circumcision according to the Law. (Leviticus 12)
On the eighth day after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary brought Him to the temple to present Him to the Lord. Mary carried Him to the entrance of the Court of the Israelites. It was here that they called Him “Jesus,” the name given to Him by the angel. Joseph would later enter the Court of the Israelites carrying a pair of turtledoves and two pigeons to present to the priest as a sacrifice for their gratefulness to God and for the cleansing of their sin. It was in this court where Jesus was circumcised. The male child was given to the priest for their official naming and circumcision. However, Simeon, a just and devout Jew, who was led by the Spirit to come to the temple at this very moment to see his Messiah, took Jesus in his arms and blessed Him.
The first person commanded to be circumcised was Abraham at the age of ninety-nine. (Genesis 17:7) God told Abraham by doing so, He would establish an everlasting covenant with Abraham and with every future heir who obeyed this command. The covenant demonstrated God’s unconditional love for His people. Nothing or no one would ever keep God from loving His people. It was in the Court of the Israelites where the covenant, a reminder of God’s promise, was continually expressed. Jesus, who was circumcised in this court to reaffirm God’s Covenant with Israel would one day be crucified on a cross to establish a new covenant with all people, Jew and Gentile, who would believe and receive Him as Lord and Savior. (Hebrews 9:15)
This new covenant, established between Christ and the redeemed, is an everlasting covenant based on God’s unconditional love. (Hebrews 13:20) Do you know that nothing or no one will ever separate us from God’s love? (Romans 8:35) We, the redeemed, are eternally secure in Him because of His covenant promise to us, which means, you will never lose your salvation! We did absolutely nothing to earn it, we don’t deserve it, and we can do nothing to lose it or keep it. The covenant is a 100% work of God and a 0% work of man.
Have you taken God’s covenant relationship with you for granted? You have if, at some point, you think God does not love you. To doubt the love of God not only shows your lack of understanding for His covenant but also for His character. He loves you for you, not for what you do! You cannot live abundantly in Christ if you doubt His love for you. If you have taken His covenant relationship for granted, would you ask God to forgive you right now? Please live today knowing you are loved by God because of who you are in Him, not because of what you do or do not do for Him! The most profound truth in scripture is: “Jesus Loves Me!” If you know it, then show it!