“Now I know…”

Abraham and Isaac
Image via Wikipedia

Wow, this blog has languished for quite some time!  The Holy Day seasons are always busy times, and this year has been no exception to that rule.  Still, I thought I would add a comment here about something that I’ve been thinking about recently as Passover approaches.

Most of us are familiar with the tale of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac at God’s command.  What we don’t often take into account is that Isaac and Abraham were both likely of such ages that Isaac could have physically resisted his father’s attempts to bind him if he chose to do so, Isaac most likely being a young man at the time and Abraham most certainly being what we’ll strategically call not a young man (or, as Paul said, a man “as good as dead”).  So, really, the tale is not only about Abraham’s faith and selfless submission to God but about Isaac’s, as well.

Most of us are also likely aware that the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, however aborted it was at the end, is a type of the experience God the Father and Jesus Christ would go through several thousand years later, as God offered up His only Son, as well.  In asking Abraham to go through this ordeal, He was qualifying him as the “Father of the Faithful,” in a sense, looking to see if Abraham would be willing to do, on a human level, what God, Himself, was going to do later.  Abraham — probably tested at the very limits of his character — was so willing.

God’s response is important: “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Genesis 22:12).

Essentially, Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son and Isaac’s willingness to be that sacrifice taught God something very important about the utter completeness of their love and devotion to Him and the vast depth of their commitment to Him.

That said, doesn’t it work the other way around, too?  Doesn’t God the Father’s willingness to sacrifice His Son and Jesus Christ’s willingness to be that sacrifice teach us something very important about the utter completeness of Their love and devotion to us and the vast depth of Their commitment to us?

It does.  And meditating on that should bring us to the same conclusion as Paul, regardless of our current state in life:

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.’

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:31-39

The days that follow the Passover — the Days of Unleavened Bread — take a bit of courage to prepare for.  To truly “deleaven” your life, as opposed to just your house, takes courage.  In order to remove sin, you must be willing to see it there, and many do not have the courage to face the truth about themselves that honestly.

But reflecting on the lesson that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ should teach us about the depth of God’s love for us should inspire within us that courage, reminding us of just how committed God the Father and Jesus Christ are to seeing us in their Kingdom to spend eternity with them as a part of their glorious Family, forever.  It should remind us of their willingness not only to forgive us of whatever “leaven” or sin that we discover in ourselves as we face the truth about who we are, but also to live within us to complete that work of righteousness until the coming of Christ (Phil. 1:6) — so that we grow to reflect Them in choices, character, and nature more and more, day by day, until at the resurrection we mirror Them perfectly (cf. 1 John 3:1-3).

I hope that — as God said of Abraham after seeing the extent of his devotion seeing, as it were, with His own eyes — we, too, will be able to reflect this Passover on the extent of our Father and Elder Brother’s devotion to us and say, each one of us, “Now I know.”

6 thoughts on ““Now I know…”

  1. Thank you for a really moving meditation, spiced with your usual humor. You make me wish that on top of everything else I need to do in these times, I start preparing a video of Genesis 22 (and eight of the Song of Songs for that matter), both relevant texts for this time of year. Yes, perhaps I can start the first at least.

  2. Linda Patterson

    Thank you for posting this. It is good for all of us to know and to meditate on this. God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ have provided all for us including the ultimate sacrifice. Let us not forget either the promisses for obedience, eternal life which they both also have provided.

  3. Steve

    This post makes me think about our boys. The eldest is a 6’4″ teenager who can easily take me down. Whenever I push him into a wrestling match, I have to order him to “go for it.” (Then he laughs, and ends the match in short order).

    Both boys will automatically follow your instructions without question. I don’t think it’s a question of simple submission to authority. It’s more like they have trust and confidence in your love for them. They give weight to what you tell them.

    But there’s an X factor involved. It’s like they have some kind of internal motor that goes beyond simple obedience. For example, the oldest boy blew off an erstwhile girlfriend, and a couple of other guys, because he wouldn’t smoke pot or drink alcohol. Apparently, he got a little aggressive with his opinions.

    Anyway, it’s the “internal motor” thing. Abraham and Isaac had it. Jesus Christ had it more than any human who ever lived. And that’s what I keep thinking about. Do we have the internal motor that drives us beyond simple obedience.

  4. Pingback: “Now I know…” (via Thoughts En Route) « Cbmilne33′s Blog

  5. Didn’t really wish to comment but there’s no “like” button.
    Really it was well said and do thank you for your wonderful sermons, blogs, tv messages(don’t get to see those here in Ash. OH) but that’s okay because we know you do a wonderful job.

  6. Thanks, Mrs. Featherston! Actually, there is a “Like” button right above the comments (has a little star on it). Still, I’m glad you wrote. 🙂 And I hope you are watching the telecasts on the internet! You may not be able to access it on TV there, but it’s on 24/7 on the Tomorrow’s World website.

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