? You'll Never Forget this Shocking Metaphor for Your New Life in Christ

(Colossians 2:11-12) Paul compares the permanency of mercy through Christ to an ancient Biblical ritual.

a year ago   •   2 min read

By Jordan Hopkins

Post Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

The Bible is loaded with beautiful language...

  • Majestic imagery
  • Rapturous prose
  • The cadence and rhythm of poetic bliss

Then, we have this interesting metaphor from Paul...

In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Colossians 2:11-12 (NIV)

? All About Circumcision

Does circumcision come up during your conversations much?

Me too! Glad we're two odd peas in the same pod. ?

So, here's the beauty of reading the Bible: We get to challenge ourselves to understand it from its own perspective.

I know that sounds odd—our culture loves to see everything from a personal perspective, right? But, I think it's a good thing, having to see things from the Bible's context.

This makes us approach the story with humility from the onset.

The Permanency of Mercy

Circumcision is an ancient ritual we still perform to this day. Since Abraham, God used circumcision as a way to mark His people of the covenant.

Circumcision cannot be undone—

At least, I don't think so without plastic surgery…

? or lots and lots of duct tape.

Either way, it ain't coming back. It's a done deal.

Paul's taking this strong Biblical theme and is now applying it to your life in Christ. Your "whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ."

And the marker of this moment for the believer?

The burial of Baptism.

Elsewhere, Paul puts it this way:

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:11 (NIV)

This shift to new life is not a painful cutting of human flesh. Instead, it's the washing away of your sins by the blood of the Lamb.

Your faith in the completed and good work of Jesus, the Suffering Servant, paved the way so you can be adopted into God's family.

Life after Circumcision

Paul, though, doesn't stop there.

Regular circumcision is a one-time deal. But the effects of forgiveness, reconciliation, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through Christ are a beautiful bounty...

  • New life
  • Being "raised with Him"
  • Our future hope of the Resurrection foreshadowed

All of this illustrated with that good-ol' circumcision metaphor…

  • Thank you, Paul, for using imagery I'll never forget.
  • Thank you for shaking me out of my 21st Century comfort zone.
  • Thank you for reminding me of the permanency of mercy through Jesus, the Messiah.

? Postscript + Bonus Sauce

Paul goes on in Romans 6 about the cost of our redemption. The sacrifice of Christ is measureless and priceless. So, how can we keep on sinning in light of that?

Like circumcision being a done deal, our old life of following darkness is over. Christ died to do away with sin.

The Father is faithful to see us to the end. And Christ has called us to “abide” in Him. To remain steadfast. To love as “He first loved us.”

Some encouragement for the race…

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