Advent Podcast Day 5: “The Meaning of Christmas Is Easter”

December 7, 2017

From the first day of Advent until Christmas Day, I’m podcasting a daily devotional. You can listen by clicking on the playhead below.

Devotional Text: Genesis 22:1-13

You can subscribe to my podcast in iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.

Hi, this is Brent White. It’s December 7, 2017, and you’re listening to Day 5 of my series of Advent podcasts. You just heard Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band’s “Poor Little Jesus.” Here’s “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.”

In yesterday’s scripture—the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1—Matthew begins by saying, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

Jesus is the son of Abraham. Well, obviously… Doesn’t it go without saying that if Jesus is the “son of David”—as all messianic prophecy makes clear that he must be—then he is also the son of Abraham. Since David is the son of Abraham, Jesus is also the son of Abraham. Why the need to emphasize this fact?

It’s because Matthew is reminding us of another messianic prophecy. This one is found way back in Genesis 12, when God calls Abraham to leave his home, leave his family, and leave his country to go to the land—the promised land—which God would show him. God will make of Abraham a great nation and in him “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3. God goes on to say these blessings will come through his offspring—who is Jesus.

So… Matthew’s genealogy points back to Abraham because the story of Abraham points forward to Christ. 

In fact, in John chapter 8, Jesus is arguing with the Pharisees because of their refusal to believe that he’s God’s Son. The Pharisees defend themselves by appealing to Abraham. Jesus tells them, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

How did Abraham, who lived 2,000 years before Jesus, “see” the day of Jesus Christ?

He saw it in today’s scripture, Genesis 22. I’d like to briefly make some connections between this passage and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

First, Jesus is the lamb, whom God provides, who dies in place of someone else.

Second, Jesus is the son who, like Isaac, literally carries the wood for his own sacrifice—in his case the wood of the cross—and willingly offers himself as a sacrifice.

Third, Jesus is like Abraham who is tested by God. Yet Jesus passes every test on our behalf. Jesus lived the life of perfect obedience to the Father that we were unable to live.

Finally, God the Father is like the father in today’s scripture, Abraham, who did not withhold his son, his only son, as the angel says in Genesis 22:16. In fact, the apostle Paul refers back to this verse in Romans 8, where he says, “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?”

Because of Abraham’s obedience, Genesis 22 tells us, Abraham inherited land, the promise of a future family, and the defeat of his enemies. Because of Christ’s obedience on our behalf, we inherit eternal life, adoption into God’s family, and the defeat of our ultimate enemies—sin, Satan, and death.

My point is, right here in Genesis 22 we have the gospel of Jesus Christ. Abraham saw that—and was glad.

Maybe you’re listening to this and thinking, “O.K., Brent, but this sounds more like an Easter message than a Christmas message. We want to hear about the meaning of Christmas!”

But friends… please don’t miss this important truth… the meaning of Christmas… is Easter!

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