This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
In one of the most well-known passages in the Old Testament we see Abraham offering up his son Isaac. In this story, there are striking similarities between Abraham and God:
• Abraham was willing to offer up his son for sacrifice: God was willing to offer up his Son as a sacrifice.
• Abraham placed the wood of the sacrifice on his son’s shoulders: God placed the wood of the cross on His Son’s shoulders.
• Abraham laid his son upon the wood and bound him to it. God laid his Son upon the wood of the cross and bound Him to it.
There is a particular reason why this story is special. There is a principle or rule that some people use for studying and interpreting Scripture called ‘The law of first mention”. This principle says that, to understand a particular word or doctrine, we must find the first place in Scripture that word or doctrine is revealed and study that passage. It is thought that the Bible’s first mention of a concept is the simplest and clearest presentation; thus it is based on that ‘first mention’ that subsequent occurrences of the concept or doctrine are interpreted. So, if we want to understand a theological concept, it helps to start with its “first mention.”
It is in the passage where Abraham is offering his son Isaac for sacrifice that we have the first mention of ‘LOVE’.
Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, whom you love - Isaac - and go to the region of Moriah." (Genesis 22:2)
It is wonderful to note that the first mention of LOVE in The Bible is a father’s love for his son: not the love of a husband for his wife, nor a mother’s love, nor the love of a child for a parent, but the love of a father for his son. Before the dawn of time, the Heavenly Father loved His Son. His love was eternal, from ages past.
However there is one main difference between Abraham and God : Abraham lifts up the knife of sacrifice but is stopped: God lifts up His knife of judgment, but it is not stopped.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have life eternal. (John 3:16)
Friends, if our Heavenly Father made this great sacrifice, a sacrifice of love for us, He must love us very much. Let us live today in the awareness of that love.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
(The Love of God by Frederick Lehman)
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