And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” (Exodus 12:48-49)
According to the Bible, circumcision is a sign of one who has come into covenant with the God of Israel. In regard to the Passover, this “sign” acknowledges that the person recognizes that he must do his part in the relationship with the Almighty. Passover and the emphasis placed on the the Blood of the Lamb is the “sign” to us that God has done His part pertaining to the covenant. Because Messiah has done His part, the question is then raised as to whether physical circumcision is really necessary to enter into the covenant?
This particular question is what led to the letter that was written to the new converts among the Gentiles from those in Jerusalem (Acts 15). There were some that said they had to be circumcised after the manner of Moses in order to be saved (Acts 15:1). The Jerusalem Council did not agree with this which is what prompted the letter to be sent out. For the record, their position was not that someone should remain uncircumcised necessarily, but that it was not necessary “to be saved” — that was the sticking point. Paul, who was at that meeting, had much to say on the subject:
“For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.” (Romans 2:25)
The point is that the outward trappings and physical manifestations of the covenant should be a true reflection of what is in the heart. In other words, unless our hearts are circumcised, physical circumcision is pointless. Likewise, unless our hearts are pure and given over to our Father without reservation, all of our religious garb and gab don’t mean a thing. Those things we express to the world outwardly that say, “I am a follower of Messiah” should be a faithful reflection of the condition of our heart.
Blessings and Shalom,