Incarnation as Supplying the Sacrifice-Advent 22 (2015)

perfect sacrificeAs we’ve begun to consider the Incarnation as the means through which God makes us acceptable to Him, we cannot forget that the scarlet cord running through it has always been sacrifice.

It was sacrifice when God supplied the ram so that Abraham’s faith would shine and the line of God’s promise would carry forth through Isaac, just as He said. And it was sacrifice too, when God supplied the perfect Lamb so that our faith might shine and God’s promise would be fulfilled … once and for all time.

We don’t like to think about sacrifice in our culture. Everything is designed for the easiest way out.

Take a pill and lose 10 pounds with no change in your diet or lifestyle required. “There’s no need to give up, cut back, or be responsible!” our political culture screams. “Just take on more debt. Easy-peasy. You can do it.  Kick the can down the road.”

There’s just one little problem: eventually one must pay the piper.

And in the case of sin and judgment, the cost is higher than any of us can pay.

So Jesus did it for us. 

It was sacrifice and cost His very life.

Hebrews 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Thought for the day: Jesus’ Incarnation always had Good Friday as its earthly end. The gift of the Christ Child at Christmas was always meant as Easter’s Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice.

Questions for pondering:

  1. How did God supplying the ram (Genesis 22) instead of Isaac serve to keep God’s promise alive?
  2. We don’t do animal sacrifices anymore. Why?
  3. In our aversion to blood, have we lost something of the understanding of sacrifice?
  4. There is a widely known phenomenon on social media called the “Online Disinhibition Effect” in which people say awful things to each other that we would never say in-person or in front of a crowd of actual onlookers. We don’t see what damage, hurt, and harm we’re doing to people because they are not present, they’re virtual. How is the lack of “blood” if you will, as feedback on our behaviors missing, and contributing to such poor behavior?


Incarnation (2015 Advent Devotional Series) began November 29th.  By way of reminder, if you haven’t signed up yet, you can receive these devotional studies in your email throughout Advent 2015 by entering your email address on the home page in the space provided in the sidebar.  Or “Like” the SeminaryGal Facebook page to access them there.  If you like these devotionals, I’d really appreciate your letting others know so I can continue to spread the Good News far and wide.  Blessings to you, in Christ always, Barbara <><

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 20, 2015

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