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Daily Reading: 2nd April 2015

Genesis 22.1-3

[1] Later on God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience. “Abraham!” God called.

“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”

[2] “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.”

[3] The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac. Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go – (NLT).

As we approach the Easter period we will take a break from John’s gospel so that we can meditate upon the sacrifice that God made by sending Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins.

This supreme sacrifice of sacrifices is foreshadowed in an event in the life of Abraham.

1 Firstly God spoke to Abraham by name. It was a name that God had given to him, changing it from Abram to Abraham. The meaning of Abram is ‘exalted father’ & ‘father of an individual’. Whereas Abraham means: ‘father of a multitude or many nations’. By changing his name, God was telling Abraham that through his son Isaac he was going to be the father of many nations, and we live in that promise today, since we belong to Jesus and Jesus was of the seed of David.

As we move into the New Testament we see from Matthew 1.21 that God instructed Joseph that he should give Mary’s son (conceived by the Holy Spirit) the name Jesus: “you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”. The meaning of Jesus is: ‘Jehovah is salvation’.

God speaks to us by name. He calls us by name. We are not a number, we have a name by which He speaks to us.

2 Secondly Abraham responded to God. Abraham did not have closed ears. He was a man who knew God. He was a man with whom God communicated and he with God. Therefore, when he hears God calling he responded and said ‘Yes’.

Jesus also said ‘Yes’ when the Father sent Him into the world to save the world through His death on the cross. On Good Friday we celebrate that Jesus said ‘Yes’ to the Father, which meant laying down His life for you and me.

God also calls us, through Jesus, and it is a calling that means that we also have to lay down our lives for Him. Jesus said: “If any one desires to follow Me he must deny himself and he must take up his cross, and he must follow Me” – Mark 8.34.

On Good Friday we remember the sacrifice of Jesus for us let us commit ourselves to Him to say ‘Yes’ to Him to take up our cross and follow Him.

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