Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Advent 3 : Like Father Like Son

Back to those Patriarchs...

So God comes to Abram and says, “If you give me your life, I will give you my life.” And Abram, now Abraham, has a son, the beginning of the fulfilment that he would become Father of Nations.

But then God says to Abraham, “Take Isaac, your only son, your son whom you love, and go to a certain place I will show you, and sacrifice him to me.”

In other words, God says, “In the light of who I have shown myself to be and what I have done for you in the past, will you trust me for the future? Will you trust me to come good on my promise – trust me enough that you put me before my promises; enough that you will hold on to my promise even when all the evidence points to the death of that hope, because you know who I am?” [note 1]

Isaac is the second Patriarch. God comes to him and says, “If you give me your life, I will give you my life.” God brings Isaac ‘back from death’ and to the identity of Great Father God has taken on in covenant with Abraham, in covenant with Isaac God now adds to himself the identity of Only and Beloved Son, who will be sacrificed [note 2] as the pivotal point in God’s fulfilment of his promise to Abraham.

As we wait with anticipation for the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise that one day he will return, God comes to us this Advent with the same invitation: “If you will give me your life, I will give you my life.”

Note 1: See Genesis 22 and Hebrews 11:17-19.

Note 2: Generations later, King David bought the land where Abraham was sent to sacrifice Isaac. David’s son Solomon built the (first) temple there. And on that patch of earth, in the shadow of the (third) temple built on the site, Jesus would die on a cross, be laid in a borrowed tomb, and three days later be raised again.

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