Christmas is the season to reflect upon the greatest gift of all, indeed, the only gift that matters: the gift of God who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
As the apostle Paul assures us, God spared not his own Son, but gave him up for us all in order that he might also with him freely give us all things (Romans 8:32). No gift from a father’s heart could be more costly than to surrender the life of his only son.
The testing of Abraham, reported in Genesis 22, memorialises for all time the price of our redemption through the grieving yet faithful heart of a father and the obedient heart of his son. It is a human drama that invites all of us into a deeper appreciation of the priceless cost of free grace.
It expresses the abstract theology of substitutionary atonement in flesh and blood reality. Redemption is portrayed in terms so striking that any parent and any child can comprehend the love of a father for his son or a son for his father.