Jesus loves Thomas and Mary and John—the three people we meet in John 21 who encountered Jesus in real and tangible ways. Jesus met them right where they were at. They all saw and believed.
And yet, Jesus loves you as much as He loves them. He says Himself that there is a special blessing for those who have not seen and yet still believe. He freely gives a special blessing—a gift of faith—for those who have not seen, but who have heard God’s word. And that’s because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
We have the blessing to open the Bible week after week together, and day after day with Him to read the things that were written so that we can have the hope of resurrection and the help to find faith in Him.
In the pages of the Bible, we encounter the One who can forgive us, the One who loves us, the One who tells us the truth, and the One who gives us purpose.
These things have been written…”that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31)
One day, God told Abraham, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. With knife raised over his son, God stopped Abraham because He saw that Abraham did not withhold his only son from Him.
In the book of Hebrews, we read why Abraham was willing and ready to obey the Lord: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.” (Hebrews 11:17-19)
Abraham (the father) had faith God would raise Isaac (the son) from the dead. 2,000 years later, there was another Father and another Son. The two of them went together to the same hill. But this time, no one stopped the knife. Jesus, the Son, was crucified. This had to happen this—there was no other way to accomplish the purposes of God:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
God (the Father) gave His son (Jesus) so that you could enjoy life with Him—forever! Have you received this free gift He offers you? You can, right now. Ask God to forgive you & fill you with His Spirit. He is willing and wanting to save you!
"God will provide," the Patriarch said,
And faith gives every doubt away;
Fearless he climbs Moriah's mound,
And sees afar Christ Jesus' day:
Yes! God provides, and God accepts
His sacrifice, and his alone:
No blood of beasts, not Abraham's son,
Nor ought, save Christ, can ever atone.
We remember the details of what occurred between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, but we must recall the heart of it all: “God [the Father] loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”
The Son and the Father—the two of them went together. Often, we look at this week called Passion only from the perspective of the Son and rarely from the perspective of the Father—and almost never from the perspective of both.
But don’t forget that the Son and the Father—the two of them—went together. This is the reason we turned to the book of Genesis on Resurrection Sunday. The scene in Genesis 22 vividly paints the picture of what God the Son and God the Father did together.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends