“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah.
Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, 
which I will show you.”
(Genesis 22:2, NLT)

The first time ”love” is mentioned in the Bible is in this Scripture. Abraham had walked with God for many years, and God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of many descendants through Isaac. Now, God told him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise, the son he loves, his only son.

Only son . . . Loved son . . . Sacrificial son

For three days, Abraham and Isaac, along with servants, walked to the land of Moriah, Jerusalem today. For three days, Abraham focused on the death of Isaac and his resurrection, for he knew God could raise Isaac from the dead, Hebrews 11:19. But God provided Himself a ram for the sacrifice, Genesis 22:8-14.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.'” (John 3:14-16, ESV)

No food, no water, only manna from heaven, and the Israelites complained to Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” As a result, God sent fiery serpents to bite and kill many of them. They confessed their sin to Moses, and Moses prayed to God on their behalf. God told him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. Everyone who had been bitten was to look at the serpent and live. (Numbers 21:4-9)

Sin confessed . . . Advocate prayed . . . Life restored

A picture of what was to come. A picture of the Good News.

Even though all people have sinned (Romans 3:23), God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for your sins and my sins, so that we might have eternal life. That life is knowing our Everlasting God and Jesus (John 17:3).

Gift of Forgiveness . . . Gift of Eternal Life . . . The Greatest Gift

When we think of Christmas, we think of Gabriel announcing to unmarried Mary that she will bear the Savior of the world. We think of the trek from Nazareth to Bethlemen and no place for Mary to give birth to Jesus. We think of the manger, the shepherds coming to see Jesus, and the gifts of the wise men.

Then, we turn our eyes to Christmas decorations, purchasing gifts and wrapping them, cooking, and festivities. Do you still send Christmas cards?

A time to turn from our busy preparations and meditate on why it was necessary for God to send His Son into the world.

Beginning in Genesis 3:15 and throughout the Bible, God shows the world that He will provide a Messiah who will defeat Satan and sin, One who will pay the price for all sin. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

The message of Christmas: God loved the world and sent His Son to bring eternal life.

Father, thank You for loving the world so much that You sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins so that we could live with You forever. We praise You for this amazing gift. We celebrate the greatest gift we could ever receive. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How are you celebrating Christmas?

Merry Christmas!

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