THE SEED OF ABRAHAM
In our last post, we saw that Jesus was also the seed of Abraham. Let’s examine this a bit further. Allusions to the Seed of Abraham began in Genesis 3:15 where we see the first hints of a coming savior. The NIV renders it well: “…he [the Seed] will crush your [the Serpent’s] head, and you will strike his heel.” Although the serpent might strike, or as some versions translate it, bruise the Seed’s heel, ultimately the Seed would crush the Serpent’s head.
This revealed that the Seed was going to come to redeem the fall—repeal the curse. In Genesis 22:18, God told Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
This promise continued throughout the Biblical narrative. From Genesis 3:15 and Genesis 22 on, we see the Seed mentioned over and over. In Psalm 132:11, the Seed was the “fruit of the body of David.” In Micah 7:20 and Matthew 1, the Seed was the Messiah, the Son of David, and the Son of Abraham. In Acts 3:25 and Romans 4:13, the Seed was King Jesus.
Looking back to Genesis 22, we read, “In your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” This doesn’t make sense unless we understand “Seed” to be a person, and that this person would bring worldwide peace and blessing.
That is exactly what Jesus came to do. In Ephesians 2:11-13, we read a message to Gentile Christians. “…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
As strangers to the covenant, Gentiles had no hope. But the Seed entered the picture in verse 13, bringing us near through Christ’s blood. Why did God do this? Because the promise given to Abraham was to bless the whole world.
Let’s continue on through verse 14. “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…”
The Seed was also sent to break down the wall between Jew and Gentile. Verse 15 continues with, “…by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances…”
Jesus abolished enmity in his flesh to fulfill the Law. But in this fulfillment, we don’t get to ignore the Law. We don’t get off scot-free for murder. We’re not anti-law (antinomian). We aren’t against the Law. Rather, we now understand that we can’t earn our way to God.
Jesus—our peacebringer—brought peace by abolishing the enmity of the law, by breaking down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile and reconciling both in one body, by giving access to the Father by one spirit, by building his church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and by setting himself as the cornerstone.
The message of the Advent story is that God never meant to leave salvation with just Israel, but that the covenant he made included the whole world and was validated through Jesus’s birth two-thousand years ago.The message of the Advent story is God never meant to leave salvation with just Israel, but the covenant he made included the whole world & was validated through Jesus’s birth. Click To Tweet
During Advent, we should turn our focus back to what is worthy of celebration. We celebrate because the Seed who came two-thousand years ago, was the peacebringer who reconciled us to God. We are now covenanted in the blood of Jesus, as one man with God’s people, Israel.
Do you see how beautiful this is, Church? If we do, we would never be tempted to go through this season simply checking off our Christmas boxes. As the Church, it’s our privilege to set an example, centering our worship not on meaningless fanfare or simplified birthday celebrations but on the Savior who in Himself alone repealed the curse and redeemed the world.
There’s a story of an old-covenant prophetess recorded in the second chapter of Luke. Her name was Anna and she was waiting patiently for the Lord. Her story is recorded in Luke 2:36-38:
“And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She did not leave the temple grounds, serving night and day with fasts and prayers. And at that very moment [the moment Simeon held baby Jesus in his arms] she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak about Him to all those who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Though it is hard to interpret, it seems that Scripture is saying Anna got married, lived seven years with her husband, and after his death she lived her life out praying daily for the consolation of Israel. This is someone who understood the magnitude of what she was waiting for.
This Christmas season, let’s be like Mary, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna. Let’s understand the significance of what we worship. This might require changing our hearts and minds. It might require humbling ourselves to realize that God transformed human history through the Advent of his Son two-thousand years ago. To realize that Jesus, the Seed of Abraham, is worthy of more than a celebration at Christmas or a festive family party.
He’s worthy of whole-hearted worship. Christmas isn’t about keeping it simple or going all out. It’s not about the number of gifts given or spoiling our kids. Christmas is about being a people who look straight into Scripture to the God who redeemed us and finally understand what Anna and Simeon were desperately hoping for. To truly understand the privilege we have as Christ’s church.This Christmas season, let’s be like Mary, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna. Let’s understand the significance of what we worship. #Advent Click To Tweet
In the coming weeks we’ll move on to look at Jesus as the Conquering King and as Emmanuel. We will see Jesus as “God with us” because that’s one of the great promises of Scripture. When the new Heavens and the new Earth come down, God will be among his people. He will walk with us. He will talk with us. We will no longer be separated from him in any way.
In the Advent, Jesus ushered in the beginning of this truth. Though Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God two-thousand years ago, it is yet to be consummated. We can look forward to a time when it will be finished, complete. When our Savior will dwell among us forever.
How will you refocus on what is worthy of celebration this Advent season? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.