When Jesus is presented by His parents for circumcision we see His submission to the Law of the covenant. Jesus now becomes an heir to the covenant of Israel. That the sanctions of the covenant are imposed upon the Son of God indicates both His humiliation and His glory. He now enters His role as the New Adam, the author of a glorified humanity. He is the One destined to fulfill the Law in every detail and to win the blessings of the covenant for His people. Where we fail and become covenant-breakers, deserving the curse of the covenant, Jesus, our champion, succeeds in His role as the New Adam, the supreme covenant-keeper.
We are not merely redeemed by the death of Christ; we are also redeemed by the life of Christ. His death on the cross reveals the nadir of His humiliation as He bears the curse for us. But that is only part of His redemptive achievement. It is not enough for us merely to have our sins atoned for. To receive the blessings of the covenant we must possess real righteousness. We need what we cannot supply for ourselves. This merit of righteousness is earned for us by Jesus’ life of perfect obedience.
– R. C. Sproul, The Glory of Christ