God’s Great Love

Several years ago I was watching an episode of “Bones”. Bones and Booth were driving; they were discussing Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac. Booth told Bones how he could never do what Abraham did and be willing to offer his son as a sacrifice. There conversation provoked me to further reflection on that story found in Genesis 22. God told Abraham to take his son Isaac, whom he loved, and sacrifice him (Genesis 22:1). Abraham was willing to do so and proved that his love for God surpassed even his own love for Isaac. John says that God loved the world so much, he gave his only begotten son for the world (John 3:16). Isn’t it odd that people struggle to understand how Abraham could be willing to sacrifice Isaac, but rarely question how God could sacrifice Jesus for us? Why is that? Do we not think that Father experienced grief and horror at seeing Jesus suffer on the cross and then turn his back on him, something that Abraham never had to experience? Abraham never experienced loss of Isaac, because God stopped him and told him to sacrifice a ram. The ram is understood as an illustration of what Jesus would do for us. However, there was not anyone to stop God from sacrificing Jesus for us. There was no substitute sacrifice for Jesus. While Abraham demonstrated that his love for God even surpassed his love for Isaac, God also demonstrated to us that his love for us surpasses even his love for Jesus. Why did Jesus have to die? It was the only way for God our Father to reveal how much he loves us. If he sacrificed his own son on our behalf then he loves us even more. The more that we grasp the magnitude of our heavenly Father’s love for us the more our lives are transformed.

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