The Cross in the Heart of God
Then God said," Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." (Genesis 22:2)
It seems ridiculous that God would ask this of Abraham and yet we well know that unless you have learnt something for yourself you can't teach it to anyone else, anymore than you can come back from somewhere you have never been. God had in fact already done exactly what He was now asking of Abraham.
"Take your one and only son and give him as a sacrifice".
God is timeless, He is eternal and He is stable. He is unchanging and yet He chooses to be affected by man. Just as Job says, "What is man that you are mindful of Him?" Yet God is actually very much involved in our lives and we are created in HIs image, with mind, will and emotion.
God was not oblivious to what He was asking of Abraham. What God had done out of love for mankind, He was now asking a man to do out of love for God. At first this scenario is sickening, why would a God of love ask one of His servants to kill his own son as an offering. It makes one think of the Inca's and their sacrifices to appease the God's. Does the Christian God need appeasement?
The fact is that God is Holy and perfect and cannot have anything to do with sin, He is just in His judgement and the law giver as well as the law keeper. No-one can come close to His power, and glory. No-one is a match for Him and no-one can face Him and live.
On the other hand God is merciful and long-suffering, He forgives and loves unconditionally, this is the same God in both the New and the Old Testaments, a loving God without holiness is an anything goes God without boundaries and authority. A Holy God without love is fearful and unapproachable demanding of worship.
The truth is that God is both simultaneously, and He is unchanging in nature. Many Christians bellieve that He changed between the Old and the New Testaments. The fact is that God did not change at all. What did change was man's position in relation to God. In the Old, man was apart from God and learning that he could never attain to the Holiness of God through self-effort. In the New, man has accepted the life of God as His righteousness apart from the law.
The Law is perfect and timeless because it is a blueprint, like an architects drawing of a finished building, it is the very nature of God given to man in a way that we can understand. If the plans were followed the world would be a much much better place and modern societies and cultures still use Old Testament law as a template for society and right and wrong. It is used in the judicial systems the world over and as a plumbline for modern democracy.
The Law was a system of Theocracy, where God was King, it was never to lead to a Utopian society even if we could have upheld it, but it was meant to curb sin and lawlessness and by it we know now what is wrong and right. It is beneficial to us to study it as a refresher to our conscience as in it are the attributes of God. We would do well to study it as the Law ultimately is our tutor to Christ.
When we follow the blueprint drawn up by the architect, we know where to build and how to build. Just as God left a blue-print in the law, Christ is the finished product and through His indwelling, we are part of a living building to the Glory of God. Where the law dealt with outward things, Jesus deals inwardly.
Where Christ and culture collide is where Christ in us is expressed as us to the world. God chose us in Chrsit before anything was created, when He purposed in His mind's eye to allow His only son to die.
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