The LCMS church that I attend has been doing a series on Jesus being the “son of…” Last week, the topic was that Jesus is the son of David. This week, the topic was Jesus being the son of Abraham.
The youth pastor talked about libraries, and how one can access all sorts of cool things—-books, movies, video games—-for free. Similarly, Jesus offers us even better treasures for free: forgiveness, eternal life, etc. In the Old Testament, this was available to the sons of Abraham; in the New Testament, it is available to everyone.
The pastor’s sermon started with Jesus’s genealogy in Matthew 1, which starts with Abraham. Matthew’s Gospel was directed towards Jewish-Christians, as Jesus’s mission was initially to Israel. But the pastor thinks that Abraham is being evoked for an additional reason. One of our texts was Genesis 22, the story of the akedah, God’s command for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. God’s reason for commanding Abraham to do this is mysterious, but Abraham had faith that God would provide a lamb for a burnt offering. And God provided a ram, whose head was caught in thorns. Similarly, when we experience things that we do not understand, and when grief is our only friend, we can take comfort that God has provided a way of salvation.