Rethinking Lent: Instead
This week in Lent we read an absolutely outrageous story. Over the top and overwhelming. And this one word caught me, grabbed me as I passed by at the end:
And where we see an Instead, we see Grace.
Instead of offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice, God provided a ram.
Instead of Abraham's only son dying, God's only son died.
Instead of us dying because of the choices made to be our own kings and queens (to be our own gods), God provided His Son.
Instead of an isolated story on a hill, Jesus was there from the beginning, middle and end of the narrative.
Instead of Abraham providing the lamb, Jesus was the Lamb who was sacrificed.
Instead of me cringing at this story, I breathe relief. I breathe thankfulness. I breathe beauty. He asked Abraham initially, but then He ultimately asked His Son. The willingness of both parties is outrageous and faith-filled. The only way one could trust a God who asks us to slaughter a son is to believe He could raise up a life that was outrageously better. This test is absurd and gorgeous. Such beauty and grace in the fulness of the story of Jesus' life, death and resurrection.
Faith and foreshadowing fulfilled. Amen. Instead of outrageous killing we get outrageous love.
Help us, God, to wrap our minds around this story and how it fits perfectly into the meta-narrative. How it whispers the name of your Son and the call to take the blame for our sin. Someone is to blame for our sin, and the sinless one took it all. All the blame. All the shame. All the helplessness and hopelessness. Thank God.