4TH SUNDAY OF LENT
3/22/09 Fourth Sunday of Lent
“God sent his Son so that the world might be saved through him.”It’s so famous we need only to give the citation: John 3:16. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…”
In today’s Gospel we hear the scriptural passage that is a cornerstone for the Christian faith. It is perhaps the most powerful single sentence on the Bible. The concept boggles the mind: God sacrifices his only Son for us. We see the image of Jesus, whipped, beaten, nailed and bloody, as he is roughly hauled up, pinned against the wood. Jesus hangs, rudely displayed for all the centuries yet to come.
How could God ever ask a father to drive a knife into his own son’s heart? Still, in the first book of the Old Testament, God tests Abraham with the command to do this to his beloved son Isaac. Like a foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Jesus, Abraham agrees. After a journey of three days, they arrive in Morish as directed. Like Jesus, Isaac carries the wood or the holocaust on his own shoulders. They ascend the hilltop that God has chosen. In the last seconds before Abraham plunges the Knife into his son, God intervenes and tells him not to harm Isaac.
Deacon Dick Folger