Beneficiaries of the Promise
We are the beneficiaries of the promise God made to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him. He is the only Old Testament Character Scripture says was introduced to the gospel in advance (GAL 3:8). If anyone was ever a religious fanatic, it was Abraham. If anyone ever had an excuse to disobey God, it was Abraham. He knew that when God speaks, you had better listen and obey.
It was hard enough to take his wife, servants, household belongings, and livestock through the wilderness, over the mountains and across the rivers to a land he had never seen. It was tough to be told by heaven's messengers, they would have a son in their old age and have to wait years and years while they grew older and older. But to kill this son on the altar, they had waited for so long, the very one that was to start the propagation of their descendants until they were as numerous as the stars . . . what kind of logic was that?
God's ways don't always make sense to mortals, but Abraham reasoned that the Creator could raise Isaac from the dead. No wonder he is called the father of the faithful!
This account serves as a preview of the cross. Abraham offered his only son of promise on the same mountain that God offered his only son. The ram caught in the thicket served as a substitute for Isaac, just as Christ is a substitute for us. God swore by himself that he would keep his promise because Abraham was willing to offer his son.
On that black day when the sun refused to shine, earthquakes shook the ground, the curtain in the temple was torn into, and people were raised from the dead to walk the streets . . . the lambs had been slaughtered, the same as always. They didn't realize that the real sacrifice was the one on the cross, between two thieves.
All the different sacrifices they offered for thousands of years were just substitutes for a substitute. They were substitutes until Christ was available to die to forgive their sins, He in turn was a substitute for us and them. Hebrews 9:15 states that for this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance-now that he has died as a ransom to set them free, from the sins committed under the first covenant.
The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, but God forgave them anyway, and charged their sins to Christ, looking forward to the cross. The people of the Old Testament knew nothing about the gospel, but since Jesus' blood redeemed them as it does us, they were a part of the gospel too. They just had a different law. Their gospel was to keep the law of Moses.
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Lynn Bradley is the author of, "Climbing the Heavenly Stairs." Find out who this Jesus really is. Learn the role the Holy Spirit has in our salvation. Be aware that the church is a hospital for sinners. Learn how to fit in with your congregation. Find out how to restore your faith. Delve into the mystery of mountain moving faith. Read excerpts from the book by clicking on the following link. http://www.thelynnbradleybook.com
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