January 22

Genesis 22:7-8,14 (NIV) 7Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" 8Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.

14So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

And God did provide Himself as the lamb, the lamb of atonement that took away the sins of the world. For almost two millenniums the Jewish people asked the same question. Where is the lamb? Where is the One who will satisfy God? Shepherds could not provide the lamb; He had to come from the Great Shepherd. And in the fullness of time, God did provide the Lamb. God the Father and God the Son went together, the two of them, to Mount Moriah.

Abraham looked forward through time and saw the LORD providing the Lamb of God in that same spot. "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

On that mountain, atonement for you and me was provided. In father Abraham's case, the knife was stopped mid-air, but Father God allowed the knife to fall on the Son He so greatly loved, to bring many sons to glory. God knew the grave could not hold the One who is Life, but that did not lessen the pain of the Son or the Father in that torturous death on the cross. It did not lessen the separation that took place when the sins of the world were placed upon Jesus and the forces of hell were unleashed upon Him. Child of God, God has provided for you a lamb.

Consider: Am I living a life of thankfulness for that provision?

January 22

Matthew 1:17, 20-21 (NIV) 17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.

20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Matthew is the first Gospel of the New Testament (New Covenant). Gospel means 'good news'. He was writing to the Jews and connected the life of Jesus with the predictions throughout the Old Covenant.

Abraham was the father of faith and the father of the Israelites. He was the man with whom God covenanted to bless the earth through his seed. David also entered a covenant with God that promised his seed would reign forever. 42 generations passed before the promise to both men came to pass. That is six sets of seven. Six is the number of man, and seven is the number of God. The fulfillment of the promises was going to be the God man, Christ Jesus. The blood of a child is inherited from the father. The life of the flesh is in the blood. Mary was every bit this child's mother, but the Father of this child was God. Jesus was not born with a sin nature, but other than that, his physical being was just like yours and mine.

Joseph thought that Mary had been unfaithful to him during the engagement, and considered a divorce. A dream reassured him that the child was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit. The custom of the time was that father had the responsibility of naming the child, and in this case He did. He told Joseph the babe's name was to be Jesus. Jesus means the salvation of Jehovah. Christ is a title meaning 'anointed one' or 'Messiah'.

Consider: What does it mean to us that He was every bit man?