Advent: December 7: The Present

Genesis 22

Lambs were one of the most prized possessions in the Bible. Your wealth was often counted by the size of your flock because they provided meat, milk, wool, and more sheep. Shepherds guarded and watched them day and night to keep them safe because they knew their livelihood was at stake if a predator made their way into their camp. Not only were lambs used for products that people could use for survival, but they also were used for sacrifices, and they were just that… sacrifices.

People would sacrifice their best lambs and rams – spotless and perfect – to give to God to show that He was more valuable to them than the food He had provided for them or the wealth it bestowed upon them. And, being that lambs were faultless, it was the perfect representation of something that did not deserve to be sacrificed.

In Genesis 22, God asked Abraham to give Him his most prized possession, his son, Isaac. God was seeing if Abraham was ready to truly and fully follow Him. Isaac was Abraham’s future and the link to God’s promise He had given him, but yet, he was willing to obey God no matter the cost.

So, seeing Abraham’s contrite heart, God was able to accept an animal in the place of the worshiper. In following Levitical law and placing his hand on the ram’s head and sacrificing the animal to God, there became atonement and forgiveness.

In John 1:29, John the Baptist said: “Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” He depicted Christ as the perfect lamb, the supreme offering, the superior sacrifice, and through Christ’s death on the cross achieved all the goals of the Old Testament sacrificial system.

So, now, because God sent Jesus to this Earth and sacrificed His innocent, faultless, and pure Son on the cross, we can have forgiveness of our sins and live forever with Him in heaven.

SEE GOD AROUND YOU

Go Outside. What’s the weather like today? Write down your observations. Does the weather make you feel a certain way?

Think of a clear sunny morning after a fresh snowfall. There is a brilliant, pure white that is so bright you can hardly look over the horizon. How does this make you feel? Hopeful, excited, joyful, carefree? This represents our hearts because God sacrificed His Son for us. We are now pure, blameless, and clean.

Now, think about a muddy pit after a winter storm. Our shoes are stuck in the mud, it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s windy. How does this make you feel? Stuck, sad, bogged down? This represents our hearts without God, and without accepting His sacrifice for us.

APPLICATION

Is there anything in your life that you need to “sacrifice” to God? Is there anything that you hold of more worth and value than Christ?

Gather your best treasure and think about how it would feel to give it to someone else forever.

Think about the stories we have heard so far and how they all point to Christ. They show us that God has had a plan from the beginning to bring us closer to Him, to forgive us, and to be with us forever by sacrificing His one and only Son. He had a plan to make us clean, spotless, and blameless before God by becoming the Lamb of God.

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