The Other Only Son

Today's Bible reading: Hebrew's 11:8-19

Much later in God's plan, another only and much loved son must be sacrificed on a mountaintop.  And He is not spared.  The Son of God must die on Calvary.  Is God again denying His promises – or seeming to?  Only the obedience of faith on the part of Abraham’s children can see how that sacrifice is not against, but according to, His plan.  He is the promised Son who brings final blessing on all the nations.  He is the one who leads us into the promised land of heaven.

So – Why are people chosen?  Generally speaking, because they deserved to be chosen – at least here on earth, that's how it works.  But what about with God?  Who of us here this morning deserves to be chosen by God?  None of us.  Not you … not me .. not Noah … not Abraham … not Sarah … not Isaac –  none of us.  And yet – GOD DOES CHOOSE … AND HE CHOOSES DIFFERENTLY.  He chooses imperfect people – sinners like you, like me, like Abraham to be a part of His family. He calls the undeserving.

Just like Abraham, He has called you.  How?  Through the waters of Holy Baptism.  Why?  “So that you may be his own … and live under him in His kingdom and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness” … so that you honor God with your whole life and rejoice in Him now on earth and forever in heaven.

For all the failures in Abraham’s life… and in your life … and mine, God provides the sacrificial lamb.  As we shall see in the weeks ahead, the stories in the accounts begin to multiply throughout the pages of the Old Testament in anticipation of the time when God would provide a sacrifice that far exceeds the value of some ram caught in a thicket.  Young Isaac said: “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  Abraham said: “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

Often we fail tests of faith that do not begin to compare to Abraham’s.  May the Holy Spirit bless each of us to see the even greater sacrifice that God the Father in heaven offered in His beloved Son - Jesus Christ - to secure forgiveness for your failures and for mine. His perfection for our imperfection.

Prayer: Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.  Amen