John says that God loved the world so much that He gave. But what was His gift? A diamond? A kingdom? A planet? A universe? no…so much more. Something priceless and beyond imagination. He gave His Son. And not one of many, but the only one that He had. If you think this was an easy sacrifice think again. God gives us a glimpse into His own pain in the story of Abraham and Isaac. A.W. Tozer describes the scene:
‘Take now thy son,’ said God to Abraham, ‘thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.’ (Gen 22:2) The sacred writer spares us a close-up of the agony that night on the slopes near Beersheba when the aged man had it out with his God, but respectful imagination may view in awe the bent form and convulsive wrestling alone under the stars. Possibly not again until a Greater than Abraham wrestled in the Garden of Gethsemane did such mortal pain visit a human soul. If only the man himself might have been allowed to die. That would have been easier a thousand times, for he was old now, and to die would have been no great ordeal for one who had walked so long with God. Besides, it would have been a last sweet pleasure to let his dimming vision rest upon the figure of his stalwart son who would live to carry on the Abrahamic line and fulfill in himself the promises of God made long before in Ur of the Chaldees. How should he slay the lad! Even if he could get the consent of his wounded and protesting heart, how could he reconcile the act with the promise, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called’? This was Abraham’s trial by fire, and he did not fail in the crucible. While the stars still shone like sharp white points above the tent where the sleeping Isaac lay, and long before the gray dawn had begun to lighten the east, the old saint had made up his mind. He would offer his son as God had directed him to do, and then trust God to raise him from the dead…”
Oh, the agony that must have pierced the heart of God to see His only Son whom He loved so much bleeding and dying between two criminals on Calvary! God rescued Abraham’s Son, but He did not spare His own. He loved so much that He gave.
More on God’s giving love tomorrow…