Happy Lord’s Day! I’m so glad to be jumping back into our study called Why Israel Matters: Rightly Relating to Our Jewish Roots. To date, we have discussed:
- Israel: God’s Love Story to the World
- God’s 3-Fold Call upon Israel
- (All posts relating to this study are tagged WIM Study and you can click here to pull up previous posts.)
Today we’ll dive into the next section I’ve entitled The Incomparable Gift. Before we go there, though, let me share with you that those studying with me live are incorporating God’s command to pray for Israel (Psalm 122, Isaiah 62). Thus, because our live study is 12 weeks long, we used the 12 verses (one per week) of Isaiah 62 to guide us in prayer for Israel. The format is borrowed from the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative, and I highly encourage you to incorporate it into your study as well! (From that link, click on “Current Prayer Guide” for the latest points posted monthly.)
Now to our study…
One goal of the study is to understand the incomparable gift we Christians have been given via our Jewish roots. No Abraham, no Jews…no Jews, no Jesus…no Jesus, no salvation for us!
As quick review, in our last section we discovered that when Abraham looked at his son, Isaac upon the altar of sacrifice, he also saw the Messiah. Could it be that God spiritually transported Abraham through 2,000 years of history? Did Abraham see Calvary’s hill from Mt Moriah? (It was less than a mile away.) Did Abraham see the wood of Calvary’s cross when he placed the wood upon his own son? Did Abraham see the Messiah’s crown of thorns when he saw the thorny thicket entwined around the horns of the sacrificial ram?
John 8:56-58 says:
[Jesus said,] “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
What did Jesus mean when He said that Abraham rejoiced that he would see His day? What day did Abraham see? He saw it and was glad…could he have seen the resurrection following the crucifixion of the Messiah? Galatians 3:7-9 tells us that God foresaw justification of the Gentiles by faith, so He preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand. Because the saving power of God is in the resurrection of the Messiah, God must have shown Abraham the resurrection so that he would be equipped to bless all the nations of the earth!
Finally, going back to John 8:56-58 (quoted above), the Jews asked Jesus how He had seen Abraham, since He didn’t live in Abraham’s era. Jesus’ response is classic! “…before Abraham was, I am!” Jesus the Messiah is eternal, yet chose to use Abraham to deliver a message that would carry with it the redemption of the whole world!
Mull it all over, dear friends! We had quite a lively discussion when we discussed what Abraham saw! I hope you will share these thoughts with others and spark your own discussion. With whom will you share this?
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the Jewish Gift to the World. It might leave you scratching your head once again and thinking, “I’ve got to give this some thought!” Meet you once more at the study table tomorrow!