Abraham’s story

Story
#2—Abraham’s Story

Introduction
For this series called Story, we’re looking at the Big Story of the Bible. What it all boils down to is how God is redeeming us. He’s winning back what’s been lost. This theme resonates with us in powerful ways, which is one reason why the Bible is and always has been the bestselling book in the world. The Bible resonates with us because its themes play out in our own lives all the time.

Let me give you just one small example from my own life. When my wife Leslie and I were dating in college and we started moving towards courtship and eventual engagement, she hadn’t dated many others. So her close friends told her she should date around some more before she settled in on making a long term commitment to me…. I really can’t imagine why they’d say such a thing!  

She was at school in Pullman and I was in Tacoma, so she called me one night and told me what her friends thought and that she thought maybe they were right, we ought to get out there and play the field a bit more. Now I was quite confident I wasn’t going to be able to trade up from Leslie, so I wasn’t all that interested in this proposition. I felt I was right on the edge of losing someone priceless.

So I shot up an arrow prayer—God please help me navigate this one right!—and I said with my heart in my throat, “Well, if you think that’s what you need, then that’s okay with me.  You can date others. But I know I’m not going to find anyone like you again, so I’ll just wait for you here on my end to see what you discover.”

There was a long pregnant pause on the phone, and then she said, “Well, if that’s the way you feel about it, then I don’t really think I need to date anyone else, either.  I just didn’t want to feel trapped.” My soul was singing, “Hallelujah!” That which I was losing had suddenly been redeemed.
We love redemption stories, and so does God. The one He loves is you, and He wants to secure your love.

Today what we’re going to do is explore the story of Abraham in this light. As we look at his life and how it plays into the overall story of the Bible, I hope you’ll find yourself exploring how your story is deeply connected with God’s story as well, because it is.  

Message/Communion

Video:  Lauren Watson’s Story
As we can see with Lauren, God is at work in our lives, He’s at work in our stories!

Throughout the winter Joe has been helping us understand that the “Big Story” of the Bible is the story of God and us. That story is made up of hundreds of small stories, with each of them fitting into the Big Story. And those stories help us make sense of our own, like Lauren’s.  

Some of you know or are familiar with Jerry Sittser, who’s the head of the Theology Department at Whitworth. He talks about how God reveals Himself through the story of history in his new book,

A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life, Gerald Sittser

[He writes,] Many religions contain stories, of course, but these stories are subservient to something else, like laws or philosophy or mysticism.  The Christian faith is different because it is story from start to finish. This grand story – his-story, really – shows that human history is the primary area of God’s action. It is God who not only invented history but also got involved in it – to the point that he showed up in person.#   

If you’d like to read more, we have Jerry’s new book available at the Info Center, and I highly recommend it! He explores how God has brought good out of tragedies that have happened in his life and the lives of others.  It’s a book about redemption!

But what I want you to see from his work at this moment is that the Bible is a book that reveals God working out His purposes in human history. And under that unifying theme for all its stories, Joe’s been pointing out that there are four major movements that become unmistakable:

  • God created
  • We rebelled
  • God redeemed
  • God sends

God created everything, and it was good.  Much of that goodness still remains, and that’s why we still derive many great joys from life. But very early, we rebelled against God and His ways,
and that’s why we also experience so much brokenness and pain. Fortunately, God loves His creation, so He has redeemed it, and He is in the process of restoring it, including us. And through this process, God sends us to be agents of that redemption, reconciliation, and restoration.

At the heart of these four movements is redemption. Last week Joe showed us how God created a good world, but we quickly got ourselves into a big rebellious mess. This week we’ll look at how God takes up a grand redemptive strategy across human history that begins with Abraham, or Abram as he’s known when God intrudes upon his life. And that takes us to our first point:

1. God redeems us and renews His blessing through faith. Bible stories are great at just jumping right into the middle of things, and that’s certainly the case with Abraham’s story.  So let’s just jump right in, too!

Genesis 12:1-3
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

God kicks off His strategy for redeeming humanity with one man: Abraham. What we discover is that Abraham is a person who has the capacity for faith, but his life is often a mess because his faith isn’t complete. He sounds a lot like us!  

But despite our flaws and sins, God is faithful even when we’re not.

God takes our very limited faith with its resulting messes, and He gives us the Messiah, Jesus, who is a descendant of Abraham. And thus God blesses all the peoples of the world through Abraham’s faith and family.

As we think about that covenant we just read in Genesis 12:1-3, let’s focus in on three of its components.

The Abrahamic Covenant
1. Nationhood—God’s going to make Abraham into a great nation with a homeland.  And guess what? Israel is still here today, even after being utterly conquered and decimated multiple times
across the pages of history.

2. Renown—After Noah and the flood, a civilization starts to emerge, and they build the tower of Babel to make a name for themselves. In striking contrast, it’s God who promises to give Abraham a name. That early civilization of Babel collapsed and disappeared. But today, thousands of years later, Abraham is still revered by Jews, Christians, Muslims and others. Abraham is one of the best known figures in human history not because he had faith in what he could do, but because he had faith in what God could do.

3. Blessing—Israel will be blessed and be a blessing by being a missionary people— a people on a mission—that reestablishes God’s good plans for His creation.

If you want to talk about the “bottom line” to the covenant, it’s definitely this part, the blessing.  So this is where we’ll focus our discussion. Let’s quickly remind ourselves of God’s intentions for us in creation.  

Genesis 1:27-28
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

“God blessed them.”  God’s intention for us, His creation, is blessing, not curse. 
We can see God’s continued desire to bless us in the prayer He
gives the priests to pray over the people in

Numbers 6:24-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

So without a doubt, God’s intention is for us to experience His blessing. And as we think back on Genesis, we see that His blessing includes being fruitful, which means participating with Him in creation through procreation, which is a fun blessing to say the very least!

And what He intends for us and our resulting children is to be a part of this earth, the material world, in very interactive and productive ways as its stewards. To “subdue” the earth doesn’t mean to exploit it and abuse it, but to cultivate it and make it fruitful. God wants us to have a good and rich life here and now as well as into eternity with Him.

So He starts to redeem this blessing through Abraham, and Abraham’s story is a story of faith from beginning to end.

When we go back to Genesis 12 with the initial statement of the covenant, we discover in verse 4 that Abraham is already well advanced in years:  he’s 75. We also know from chapter 11 that Sarah is barren—has been all her life. And she’s 65 at this point when God’s promising Abraham that
He will make him into a great nation through his children. It’s no wonder that Abraham is known for his great faith!

The author of Hebrews is actually rather cheeky in the way he describes the situation.  Check this out and see what you think:

Hebrews 11:11-12
11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

Even if Abraham and Sarah were eligible for Social Security, doesn’t that seem just a little cheeky to you? But we can already start to see what’s remarkable about Abraham. The Bible sums it up very eloquently in

Genesis 15:6
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

“Righteousness” means to be in right standing with God. When we take God at His word, we’re in right standing with Him. We see Abraham’s belief in action, because right after God gives Abraham the covenant, we read the following in

Genesis 12:4-5
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Abraham didn’t just take a little exploratory trip on his own to check it out. He downsized, packed up his home and family, and moved to Canaan Heights, a Southwestern retirement community. But then something bizarre happens:  despite this significant step of faith, God decides to take 25 years to come through on His promise of a child…. a quarter of a century!  Abraham and Sarah are already 75 and 65 when the, promise is made, and Sarah has proven to be barren not just over many long years, but many long decades. And then God delays another 25 years. By the time they have Isaac, Abraham is 100 and Sarah is 90. It’s nuts. They’re old as dirt!

It’s no wonder they laugh with incredulity when God tells them after years and years that He’s still on the job. I love how earthy the Bible’s stories are.  Look at

Genesis 17:15-17
“God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’ Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’”

When Sarah gets whiff of God’s reaffirmation of the promise, notice that her gut reaction is the same as Abraham’s:

Genesis 18:12-15
“… Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?’ Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.’ Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, ‘I did not laugh.’ But he said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’”

Don’t ever think God doesn’t have a sense of humor, and an ironic one at that. He tells Abraham to name the boy Isaac.# Guess what “Isaac” means?  Laughter.

John Ortberg, who’s one of my all-time favorite pastors and writers, describes the absurdities of the situation this way:

Take this child … born in the geriatric ward for which Medicare picked up the tab, this child named Isaac—which means “laughter.”  Abraham and Sarah laughed at first because they didn’t believe; they laughed at the sheer impossibility of it.  They laughed because they were told they would have a son when they had reached an age when they didn’t even dare to buy green bananas.  And after the child was born, they laughed because they did believe. They laughed that when Sarah went to Wal-Mart, she was the only shopper to buy both Pampers and Depends. They laughed that both parents and baby had to eat the same strained vegetables because nobody in the whole family had a single tooth.

But getting back to the story of Abraham, I’m focusing us on these delays in God’s promise of blessing through a child, and the tensions these delays cause, because Abraham and Sarah’s story of faith in God is also our story of faith.

Abraham hears a calling from God, and he goes. It’s an amazing act of faith. But along with being called and sent, there’s also a part of just about every faith story that involves waiting and wondering just what on earth is going on.  And that takes us to our next point:

2. Waiting on God’s calling and promises is essential to faith and redemption. Remember that when we’re talking about redemption, we’re talking about God getting us out of our captivity to sin and the wrong path, and restoring us to righteousness and the right path, which holds all the good intentions He’s had for our lives since before creation.

As we saw very early in Genesis, God intends us to find joyful productivity in our relationships with Him, our families, and this material world. But we have to trust Him and wait on Him and His timing. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we really stink at doing this.

Ill: Let me give you another part of my story so you can see what I’m getting at. While I was in the Air Force I taught teaching methodologies and public speaking skills to the new trainers who very were skilled in their fields, but had no experience in teaching.

When I got out of the Air Force and came to Spokane, I thought I would return to elementary teaching, which is what I had done fulltime for a year before going on active duty.

When we got to Spokane, though, I discovered it’s a tough teaching market to break into!  So after a year of subbing, an opportunity to be a teaching assistant in English at Eastern came up, and after praying about it, I sensed God was leading me to continue the path of adult education He had gotten me on in the Air Force—which is a whole other story of faith I won’t go into!

So I started what would be a three-year master’s program at Eastern, and I really enjoyed doing what I felt I was called to do. The only hang-up was that while I sensed the Lord telling me
He had a plan for my future and He’d provide, my professors we telling me there were few jobs to be had anywhere in adult education in English, not just in Spokane, but across the whole nation.

Then two years into the degree, I was offered a permanent, fulltime position as an elementary teacher right here in Spokane. That would mean getting back into a stable career, building up a down payment for a home, and perhaps starting a family. It was beautiful! But the catch was, I really believed God was ultimately leading me into some form adult education.  

So I wrestled with this opportunity for a bit, and then I decided that perhaps this was simply God’s way of moving me into a career path that I could parley into adult education, somehow, somewhere. Basically, I pitched faith and went for expediency.

I accepted the job offer in the early summer, and then I agonized over it the rest of the season until finally I had to tell the principal I just couldn’t do it; it was dreadful on multiple levels for both him and me.

So I went back to Eastern for that final year, and the very professors who warned us there would be no jobs ended up offering some of my cohorts and me fulltime faculty positions just after we graduated. Student admissions had unexpectedly swelled, and no one had seen it coming!
I just needed to be patient and wait on God.  He knew. His timing is not our timing. But He is faithful.

So getting back to Abraham—whom Paul calls our father in faith—did He ever falter in this way? Did he ever get off track and head down the wrong path for a bit?  You bet he did! And that can be a real encouragement for us when we get off course but then turn back to God and the direction He’s calling us.

Abraham had a habit of reacting very poorly to perceived threats. For instance, shortly after he got to Canaan, a famine struck the land. The Bible doesn’t indicate that he consults with God what to do. He simply heads down to Egypt where there’s more food. But Egypt has its own dangers.  In fact, it’s so potentially dangerous, jeopardizes his marriage and the promise of the covenant to save his own skin.

Genesis 12:10-20
“Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, ‘I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, “This is his wife.” Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.’ When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. [Keep your eye on those female servants—one of them is going to become important in the story!] But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. ‘What have you done to me?’ he said. ‘Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, “She is my sister,” so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!’ Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.”

There’s a name for a guys who peddle women for their own gain, but we don’t use that type of word in church! Whatever label we want to use for Abraham’s behavior, he’s demonstrating a very destructive lack of faith.

He betrays Sarah by letting another man take her as his own wife; in fact, Abraham makes it easy for him to do it! And at the same time he betrays God by jeopardizing the covenant. Why all this betrayal?  Because he’s worried about himself. For being known as a man of great faith, Abraham has some pretty shaky faith at times!

Now we could argue that he didn’t know the promised child was supposed to come through Sarah.  At this point in chapter 12, God hadn’t specified as He later does in chapters 17 and 18
that the promise would come through her. So we could perhaps say Abraham’s unfaithful to Sarah,
but not necessarily to God and the covenant.

But the Bible is a no-holds-barred kind of book, and it reveals that under certain types of threat,
Abraham can be as faithless with God as he is with Sarah.

In Genesis 20, when God’s already made Abraham well aware that the child of promise will come directly from Sarah, Abraham does the same thing with King Abimelech that he did with Pharaoh, and God once again has to rescue Sarah—this time from Abimelech’s palace!

So Abraham has problems with faith and trust. But he’s not the only one with such problems. It’s not just the men who screw up in the Bible. Sarah can be a real piece of work, too.  Before God tells her in chapter 17 that she’ll be the biological mother of the promised child, she also tries to sort things out for God in her own way.

Genesis 16:1-5
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; Sarah and Abraham are from Mesopotamia, not Egypt, so guess when and where they picked up this Egyptian handmaiden? Probably when Abraham went down to Egypt without inquiring of God. One faithless move often leads to another, as we’re about to see. so she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.’ Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.'”

I don’t think the Lord had to judge between them. There was plenty of faithless behavior to go around! Both are living according to their fears and their cultural patterns, such as surrogate motherhood. Neither of them is looking to the Lord and waiting on Him, even though He has made clear promises to them.

The good news for us is that it’s God who ensures redemption, not us. If it were left up to us, as Abraham’s story shows, we’d never experience the wonder of living out a trust relationship with God
and seeing where He’ll take us.

What we see in Abraham and then also in ourselves is that even when we have a sense of what God has planned for us, we tend to be impatient in waiting for His timing and His methods, and we often get off track and make some pretty dreadful messes.

But the good news is God uses even those! It’s because of stories like Abraham’s that the Apostle Paul can make the kinds of audacious claims that he does. Consider

Romans 8:28-29
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Communion Preparation

Speaking of being conformed to the Son, our Lord, we’re going to be taking The Lord’s Supper, or communion, at the end of the talk. So the ushers are going to come at this point and start distributing the communion elements.  

So let’s think about Romans 8:28-29 in relation to Abraham and Sarah: Abraham has attempted prostituting his wife, twice, for his own benefit. Sarah has in turn loaned Abraham out as stud so she can have a surrogate child. Despite all this faithless behavior, God’s faithful in bringing about His good, because Abraham and Sarah eventually do have Isaac together—even after they’ve made some truly monumental messes.

And in the process God also transforms Abraham’s character. Abraham really is conformed into his descendant’s—into Jesus’—likeness. That takes us to our third point:

3. Redemption leads to valuing the Blesser even more than the blessing. The Gospels show us that Jesus honors and listens to His Father above all else, and we see Abraham come to a point where he does this as well.

Once Abraham and Sarah have Isaac, we might be tempted to think the climax of the story has been reached, and we’re on to the next generation: Isaac is now the key to the nation, the renown, and the blessing. But God has been doing a work in Abraham’s life and faith that needs to be revealed, so God’s about to take Abraham through a little exercise. This episode of the story is pretty dramatic in its own right, so let’s just take a minute to read it:

Genesis 22:1-2 
“Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—[of course, we know Abraham had Ishmael and other sons, but Isaac is the only son of the promise; he’s the son of the covenant] and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’… [Abraham’s got to be thinking, “Say what?” But the Bible doesn’t indicate he gives any outward protest.  He simply gathers what’s needed, and they travel there.]

Genesis 22:9-18
“When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’ Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.’ The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.'”

A natural question we ask is how Abraham could have even entertained the thought of sacrificing Isaac. (Joe thinks maybe it’s because Isaac was a teenager.) Fortunately, Scripture gives us some insight into Abraham’s thoughts.

Hebrews 11:17-19
“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.”

Those of you who are parents know that as much as you value your own life, you value that of your children even more. You’d give your life for theirs. So God tests Abraham. And the test is really more for Abraham’s sake than for God’s.  God is showing Abraham just how far he has come,
how far his faith has progressed and their relationship has grown in the process of redemption.  Even in facing the sacrifice of his son, Abraham is able to reason ‘that God could even raise the dead.’

At this point, Abraham discovers that he truly trusts and loves God, the Blesser, even more than the blessing. He finally understands that all goodness and life come through God,
so he can put everything he cherishes into God’s hands, including the blessing God has delivered in and through a child. Because of this faith, we get to our final point:

4. All nations are blessed through Abraham’s seed, Jesus Christ. Now here’s a historical irony: God provides a sacrificial ram in the place of Isaac, and that sacrifice takes place upon a mountain in Moriah. 2 Chronicles 3:1 indicates that Solomon built the temple on Mt. Moriah, making it the mountain Jerusalem is on.

So it’s quite possible that these locations are the same, which means while Abraham’s son Isaac was spared by a substitutionary sacrifice on that mountain, Abraham’s later descendent and God’s Son, Jesus, was not. Jesus, in fact, became a substitutionary sacrifice Himself, the ultimate and final sacrifice ever needed for the redemption of all humanity, past, present and future. Paul puts it this way in

Romans 3:23-25
“… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.”

If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us are outraged by God’s test of Abraham. How could a good God ask a man to give up his child to a grisly sacrifice? In fact, when God later gives the law through Moses, He forbids it.

But across the pages of history, God is showing us what it cost Him to give up His Son for us.  God is helping us feel through our empathy with Abraham and Isaac what it cost Him and Jesus. Why would God make such a horrific sacrifice? Love. We all know the famous verse in one version or another. Go ahead and read John 3:16 in the NIV with me:

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Remember that we’re told in Genesis 15:6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Paul talks about this in Romans 4:23-25
“The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

God is simply asking us to believe that He loves us, a love He’s proved by going to the cross in our place for our rebellion against Him, for breaking faith with Him.  He’s made a way for us to pick that faith back up and walk with Him, for our joy and His glory.

COMMUNION

Jesus invites us to regularly remember God’s love and His invitation into the Big Story of redemption through communion, or The Lord’s Supper. On the night before His crucifixion, while He was eating the Passover meal with His disciples, they were all celebrating the fact that God had freed their people from slavery in Egypt, and He had passed over their children when the Egyptians’ firstborn sons were taken.

What distinguished the Israelites from the Egyptians who enslaved them was the sacrifice that was offered in the place of their children. The Israelites ate after the sacrifice, and some of the blood
was put over their doorways so that the angel of death would pass by.

So in the midst of memorializing and celebrating this event at Passover, Jesus indicates to His disciples that He Himself is becoming our Passover sacrifice, once and for all. He’s offering our redemption from the bondage of sin and death, and He secures that redemption by giving His life for ours. He gives His disciples the daily staples of bread and wine, and He tells them,

Luke 22:19-20
“‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

When God provided Abraham with a ram in place of Isaac for a sacrifice in Genesis 22:14, “Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.” And it’s likely that at that very place God provided us with Jesus as well.

Let’s take the bread and the cup together now, in remembrance that Christ, the seed of Abraham, gave His life so that all the world could be blessed through His full redemption. And like Abraham, we can be transformed and become like Christ. Let’s eat and drink together.

Closing Prayer

By | 2017-03-24T16:05:05+00:00 March 10th, 2013|Sermons, Story|Comments Off on Abraham’s story