If there’s a resurrection, is there a sacrifice? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
In a video I dealt with recently, the question came up about the death of Jesus. Jesus came back from the dead on Sunday morning after dying on Friday afternoon. How can that be a sacrifice? Is it really a sacrifice if you give something up and you know that you will get it back?
Something to consider. This is a parallel to the account of Abraham. Did Abraham know he would get his son Isaac back. He had been told specifically that “Through Isaac, your offspring will be reckoned.” He had been given a promise that Isaac then would be the one through whom God would build a great nation.
But yet he was told to make a sacrifice and in spite of that sacrifice, he was assured that Isaac would be a father. How could this be? The Hebrews writer tells us that Abraham somehow even then trusted that the God who brought about a miraculous birth of Isaac could raise him from the dead. This was in an age where miracles weren’t widespread and there had been no resurrection yet.
Now we are strong defenders of the deity of Christ, but let us remember we are also strong defenders of His humanity. There are things Jesus did not know on Earth and the only things He knew were that which God had revealed to Him (Beyond basic learning and such of course). When it came to future events, He had to trust the revelation of God.
This was the way of His life. Jesus too had to trust in the Father. When He was tempted, He had to give answers as to why one should not follow the devil but follow the Father instead. When He prayed, He prayed that if there be another way, please let it come about. He knew not of one, but He was still wanting one.
Could it be that the Son was trusting in the Father that He would raise Him from the dead? Was He saying on the cross that I commend my spirit to you in the trust that you will find favor with it? Could it be then the sacrifice was real on the part of Jesus just like it was on the part of Abraham? Both were confident that they would get back what they had given, but both to the end had to trust YHWH? Jesus Himself had to trust the Father to the point of death, as Jesus had to succeed where Israel had failed.
After the sacrifice was made, God could do with it what He wanted. If you give me all you have as a gift, it is still a gift even if I say I will give it all back to you. Even if you think that I will do so, you can still consider it a gift. Of course, someone could say YHWH would be faithful to the promises that He has made, but remember Abraham and Jesus had to realize that when push came to shove, and it was a lesson Israel had not learned.
This was also why Jesus did not just die as an infant. Jesus had to live to be the true King of Israel. It wasn’t just that Jesus came to die alone. Jesus came to be the King, and He had to live a life to let the world know that God’s appointed King had shown up. Jesus showed his right to rule by His trust in YHWH, trust even to death.
What difference did it make? That’s for another time.