What is the 'circumcision of the Messiah?
A number of commentators see circumcision of the Messiah as refering to Jesus’ death. This makes sense given that Paul refers to union with Messiah in circumcision, burial, and resurrection in vv. 11-12, whereas in Romans 6 Paul there refers to sharing in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Yet I would maintain that (1) circumcision of the Messiah is coordinate to putting off of the body of flesh and is the opposite of the uncircumcision of your flesh in v. 13. The content of v. 11 then does stand not for the indicative (death of Jesus) and imperative (putting off evil deeds) elements, but underscores the transformative power of being in-Messiah. Paul is giving a messianic rewording to ‘circumcision of the heart’. (2) The actual indicative aspect of Paul’s exhortation is provided in vv. 12-15, while v. 11 states the reality that is created by Jesus’ triumphant death. (3) Any attempt to find an identical linear sequence to Romans 6 fails because baptism in v. 12 encompasses death and resurrection with Jesus and in v. 13 it is their individual spiritual death and spiritual quickening that is in view. (4) There seems to be a two stage scheme of participation based on baptism/burial (= death) and resurrection in vv. 12-13 and there is no wooden imitation of the pattern in Romans 6.