Your Father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day - A Meditation on John 8:56

By Rev. Eric Brown

“Your Father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.  He saw it and was glad.”

Abraham was on his way to worship the Lord, on his way to church as it were.  But it was not necessarily a happy trip.  No, the Lord had required the life of Abraham's son, Isaac.  And Abraham goes, ready to sacrifice his son.  He's old, and frankly, he's got no grounds to argue against God.  For 99 years Abraham had tried to get a son on his own and nothing good was the result.  Then God gave Isaac.  If God wanted Isaac back, well, even though it was long before Paul said it, Abraham knew that the wages of sin was death.

Yet there, at that church, in the middle of that worship service, just as the highlight approached, Abraham saw the day of the Lord.  The Angel of the Lord, Jesus before His birth, called out and told Abraham to put down the knife, that Isaac would live.  There would be a substitute.  Today, a ram in the thicket, but come one day Jesus Himself, the very Lamb of God would come and die and take away the sins of the entire world.

Many years later, sons of Abraham confronted Christ.  He had literally saved their lives, their existence many years ago by sparing their father Isaac – yet they still griped and complained and fought – even wanted to kill Him.  They refused to see who He was.  They didn't want a savior, they just wanted to jockey for social position and power.  And yet, even for them, Jesus would die, would still be the Lamb of God who takes away even their sin.  He hides Himself until it is time to die upon the Cross.

If you think you've got it all together, or maybe just need a bit of brushing up, Christ Jesus isn't much to look at.  He's better than you, and that will just annoy you.  But when you have seen sin and death and dying, when you know you own lack and weakness and are too tired to make excuses, then you see the day of the Lord and like Abraham you will rejoice.  The Lord's Day means that you will live.  Christ Jesus has died in your place, and because He has risen from the dead you will rise too.

Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois and the co-host of the HT Gospeled Boldly Podcast.

Created: March 28th, 2017