Genesis 12:1-38
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

Matthew 1:1
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Galatians 3:16
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.

We come now in our journey to Abraham, the father of the Jews, the father of all those who has faith in Christ.  But for most of his life, his name must have felt like a broken promise or a sick joke.  You see, “Abram” means “exalted father”, and “Abraham” means “father of many”.  But Abraham had no children.  When God made the promises to him recorded in Genesis 12, that he would make a great nation of Abram, he was 75 years old (Gen. 12:4).  When Abram was 99 years old (Gen. 17:1), God confirmed his promise and changed Abram’s name to Abraham.  Finally, the promised son Isaac is born, when Abraham is 100 years old (Gen. 21:5).  You think waiting 25 days for Christmas to arrive is tough?  Try waiting 25 years for a promise to be fulfilled!

But that was only the first part of God’s promise to Abraham.  It would take centuries until Abraham’s descendants would become a great nation.  And even more centuries would pass until all peoples on earth would be blessed by Abraham’s descendants.  In the meantime, Abraham was willing—at God’s command—to sacrifice his son, his promised and cherished son, his son through whom the blessings promised by God would come (Gen. 22).  He did this because he believed that God would keep his promises and that God could raise the dead (Heb. 11:17-19).

God did spare Abraham’s son.  But he did not spare his own Son; he gave Him up for us all (Rom. 8:32), the perfect sacrifice for sin.  Yes, Jesus is the son of Abraham, as Matthew proclaimed him.  Jesus is the seed of Abraham to whom the promises of Genesis 12 were made.  It is through Jesus, the seed of Abraham, the son of Abraham, that all peoples on earth are blessed.  It is Jesus who, through his sacrifice and with his blood will purchase for God people from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Rev. 5:9).  Truly we sing, “Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies; with th’ angelic host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’” (Charles Wesley)

If you have been saved by the Son of Abraham, praise God!  If not, seek Him now.  Join the chorus of praise from all peoples on the earth:

The whole triumphant host gives thanks to God on high;
“Hail Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!” they ever cry.
Hail, Abraham’s God and mine!  I join the heavenly lays;
All might and majesty are thine, and endless praise.

(Thomas Olivers)

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