by Eric Dunbar
No matter what you are going through, it is important that you know how much God loves you. You will never know how much God loves you until you know how much God loves His Son.
Everything in the Bible, from beginning to end, points to Jesus. There is one story in Genesis chapter 22 that parallels the love that God has for His Son.
“And he (God) said (to Abraham), ‘Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.’
“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
“Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
“And Abraham said unto his young men, ‘Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.’
“And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, ‘My father:’ and he said, ‘Here am I, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’
“And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:’ so they went both of them together.
“And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
“And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
“And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham:’ and he said, ‘Here am I.’
“And he said, ‘Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.’
“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”
Can you see Jesus in this story? Put yourself in Abraham’s shoes for a moment. Imagine going up the mountain with your son, Isaac. When you arrive at the place where you are supposed to make the sacrifice, your son looks at you with those pretty innocent eyes and he says, “Daddy I see the fire and I see the wood but where is the lamb?”
Now imagine the grief that Abraham must have felt knowing that his son, his only son, whom he loved, was about to die. At the instant Abraham was about to kill his son God stopped him. When Abraham turned around he saw a ram caught in the thicket by its horns (Genesis 22:13).
I believe God allowed Abraham to prophetically see the Lamb of God nailed to the cross with a crown of thorns on His head. I think we can safely assume this because of what Jesus told the Pharisees. He said: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad. Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM’ (John 8:56-58)” Abraham rejoiced to see the prophetic vision of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He saw the day that God indeed did provide Himself as the sacrificial Lamb.
God told Abraham, “…now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Today we can tell God, “Now I know that You love me because You have not withheld Your Son, Your only Son, whom You love, from me.”
God is love. The Apostle Paul tells us that nothing can separate you from God’s love — Nothing!
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).
There are times when we don’t grasp the full weight of these two verses. But when we become persuaded as Paul was persuaded, we begin to realize just how much God loves us, and then we want to love him back.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you love God more than God loves you. God is love and God’s love for you will always be constant. Life has ways of making you waiver in your love for God. Of all the disciples, Peter was the one who boasted of his love for Jesus. He told Jesus that he would never leave Him; he even said that he would even die for Jesus. But when Peter came face to face with the possibility of crucifixion his love for his own life was suddenly more important than his love for Christ.
We have all boasted about how much we love God. But you will never know how much God loves you until you know how much God loves His Son.
Is there something standing between you and God that is preventing you from receiving His love? You might be addicted to alcohol or drugs; you might be going through a heated divorce; or you might think that God cannot possibly love you because of things you have done. Get rid of those negative thoughts and believe the word of God that says: “…neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”