Christmas is the season to reflect upon the greatest gift of all: the gift of God, who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Take a moment, though, to imagine what this gift required of God the Father!
The Apostle Paul tells us that God spared not His own Son, but gave Jesus up for us all in order that God, with Jesus, might freely give us all things (Rom 8:32). There could be no gift more precious or more costly than for a father to surrender the life of his only son. Yet God the Father esteemed us of such great value, that He was willing to pay the price of our redemption with the precious blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus—all so that He might offer us the free gift of everlasting life!
The Bible invites us to imagine the stunning magnitude of this greatest of all possible gifts through an unusual story about Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. In this shocking story, God gives Father Abraham the terrifying command to sacrifice his only begotten son, Isaac. In obedience to God, Abraham takes his son to a hill outside of the future Jerusalem. He then watches in grief as his beloved son carries the wood for his own sacrifice up the hill. But at the last moment, God spares Isaac from death by providing a substitute sacrifice!
What did God intend to teach Abraham through this experience? You see, to pay for the costly gift of our redemption, God would have to sacrifice his only begotten Son for us one day. When that day came, God the Father watched in grief as his Beloved Son carried the wood of his own sacrifice up the very same hill outside Jerusalem that Isaac had climbed, the one we know today as Calvary. But atop that hill, where God spared Abraham’s beloved son, Isaac, God did not spare his own, far more Precious Son, Jesus. Instead, God so loved us that he gave his only begotten Son up to death, allowing Jesus to pour out his innocent blood as the substitute sacrifice in our place. Only after paying for our redemption with the very life of his own Beloved Son—only then did God deliver Jesus from death like Isaac!
This is the gift of God the Father to us this Christmas! A gift beyond words! So today, take a moment to pause and reflect on the stunning depth of God’s love to freely give us the gift of his Son, Jesus, through this short video on the story of Abraham and Isaac!
Dr. Warren A. Gage
President, Watermark Gospel https://watermarkgospel.com/
Dean, Berit Theological Seminary
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