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Archive for the ‘The Wesleys’ Category

Abraham …bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar … But the angel of  the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” …  “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” …  Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram … and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. – Genesis 22:9b-12-13 (NIV)

Why such a story like this in our Bible? A man being told to kill his son on an altar – the idea is repugnant to us today!

But human sacrifice was often demanded by the gods and religions of Abraham’s day.  What could be more dear to a man than his only son, and what could show his devotion more than sacrificing that son on an altar.

But the God of the Bible is different; Abraham had to learn that and so do we.  In this one event God established two (2) critical lessons:

  1. God doesn’t want human sacrifice like the other gods (demons) required. He’s not interested is us giving him some thing, no matter how dear, he wants us to give him ourselves.
  2. God institutes the concept of substitution.  God, himself, provides the substitute – here it was a ram for a son, but later it would be Christ tasting death1 for us that we may go free.

So, how was the sacrifice of Christ NOT human sacrifice?  Because it was Christ’s self-sacrifice.  Jesus was not the victim2 but the instigator and voluntary participant. He was on a mission – not to satisfy some whim of a deity but to free mankind from the bondage of sin.

Charles Wesley, an Anglican priest, brother to John Wesley and co-founder of Methodism expressed it this way,

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
3

– fritz
1 – Hebrews 2:9
2 – John 10:17-18, Matthew 26:53
3 – Hymn, “Oh For A Thousand Tongues” by Charles Wesley

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“Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD … Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide …” (Genesis 19:27, 24:63a)

Men and women of God, from Abraham and Isaac through the centuries to today take time to get alone with God.

Abraham’s time was in the mornings at a scenic overlook; Isaac’s in the evenings in the fields. It’s not what time or where that is important but the consistency and privacy.

Suzanna Wesley, unable to leave the house because of responsibilities for her 19 children (John and Charles being two of them), sat in a chair with her apron over her head – all because there must be time alone with God for every believer.

Jesus said to go to the closet to pray in secret.1 Your closet may have four wheels and your time may be on the way to work, but take time every day to get alone with God.

– fritz

1 – Matthew 6:6

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