Sermon Text: Advent Midweek 2 – Jesus, the Root of Jesse’s Tree

December 9, 2020 Church Blog, Sermons0

Advent Midweek 2 – Jesus, the Root of Jesse’s Tree

  1. In recent years many people have become fascinated by genealogies.
    1. There are a number of DNA testing companies that can tell you where your ancestors came from.
      1. Even more through other links online, you can learn the names of recent and distant people from your family tree.
      1. The story told by the Jesse Tree began in a garden, and today, it leads us to a descendant of Adam and Eve, a man by the name of Abraham.
      1. He was not the promised Seed of the woman. But he was chosen by God to be the link between Eden and Bethlehem.
      1. Abram, as he was once known, was not a special person worthy of this blessing, but like all of us, was chosen simply by the grace of God.
    1. Today we look at an event in his life that is hopefully familiar to most of us
      1. How Abraham, the bearer of the promise of the Seed of the woman, was prepared to obediently follow God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac through whom the promise of the Seed was supposed to continue.
      1. But Abraham knew something that enabled him to obey even this command: he knew that with God all things are possible even raising Isaac from the dead.
      1. Jesse’s tree would grow because its root is not Adam, Eve, Abraham, or Isaac, but rather, it is Jesus – the promised seed as the prophecy of Isaiah declares, “In that day the root of Jesse…shall stand as a signal for the peoples of him shall the nations (Gentiles) inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.” (Isa 11:10)
      1. He is both shoot (offspring) of Jesse as we heard last week and his root as well as He testifies in the book of Revelation, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David (Jesse’s son), the bright morning star.” (Rev 22:16)
  2. The Abraham narratives fall within the second movement of Genesis.
    1. In the first movement, Moses traces the history of the world from creation and the fall through the flood and the immediate post-flood world.
      1. But beginning in chapter 12, the focus is placed on one particular family, the family of Abraham.
      1. From Abraham’s line, God would redeem the world and bless all nations, thus fulfilling the promise of Genesis 3:15.
      1. As I mentioned last week, the narrative of Scripture is the account of the family line of one person, Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
      1. The flow of Scripture progressively narrows from the broad promise of the “seed of a woman” in Genesis 3 to the family of Abraham (the Jewish nation), as we’ll see today, then down to the family of Jesse and King David!
    1. As we heard last week, in the Garden of Eden as man and woman fell into sin, their Creator had immediately promised that One who was the “Seed” of the woman would defeat the serpent (Genesis 3:15).
      1. Through the generations, God preserved the human race, and the world was populated.
      1. Generations later, a man named Abram was called by God from idolatry in the land of Ur to a relationship with Him.
      1. And then God made a promise—to Abram, whom He renamed Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, to give them a son.
    1. But the fly in the ointment of God’s promise was that Abraham and Sarah were long past the age of childbearing.
      1. Abram was 75 when God called him and by the time he was 99 he and Sarah still had not had a child.
      1. The idea of having a son at their age was impossible…
      1. Except that it was not man but God who made the promise, and with Him, nothing is impossible.
    1. So, at 100 years of age God did the impossible for Abraham, and Sarah conceived the promised son, Isaac.
      1. From Isaac would come Jacob. From Jacob would come Judah.
      1. From Judah would eventually come Jesse.
      1. From Jesse would come David. And from David would eventually come Mary.
      1. And, miracle of miracles, from Mary, the virgin mother, would come the Christ, the Seed promised to our first parents at the fall. Impossible? Not with God.
  3. But before that what must have gone through Abraham’s mind when a few years after Isaac’s birth God said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you”? (Genesis 22:2)
    1. God’s command would not just mean the loss of Abraham’s son, but it would also mean the loss of the messianic line.
      1. But in an amazing act of obedience, Abraham prepared to fulfill God’s command.
      1. He saddled the donkey, took the wood, set the fire, and had the knife.
      1. He bound his son, the son of promise, on the altar.
      1. Imagine that scene! The future, embodied in Isaac, was about to be sacrificed, a future that had suddenly turned dark and foreboding.
    1. And while Abraham could not see the future, he trusted the Lord, and he knew that with God all things are possible.
      1. So, as Abraham raised his hand with the knife prepared to kill his son God said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Genesis 22:12)
      1. The courage and faith of Abraham is commemorated by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” (Hebrews 11:17–19)
      1. And in Isaac’s place God offered a ram, caught in the thicket.
    1. God’s promises can never fail. Abraham knew that.
      1. Isaac lived, and though he didn’t live a perfect life (like all of us) he still fulfilled God’s purpose.
      1. The generations of Isaac’s descendants continued through the centuries.
      1. The promised Seed remained in the line God had chosen to bear a Savior, not just for that family, but for all the children of Adam.
      1. Abraham rejoiced when his son was born. He rejoiced when his son was spared. And he rejoiced at the promise of a Son yet to come.
    1. In Isaac was a Seed, and we know that Seed in human form in the virgin-born Son of God – the Lamb of God.
      1. You see, when Isaac was spared from Abraham’s knife, the Lord provided the ram as a sacrifice in Isaac’s place.
      1. Through the Seed of the woman, the Son of promise, He provides a substitute for us and all of humanity – Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
      1. One sacrifice for all time and all people. One death in place of our deaths. One tomb in place of our tombs.
      1. And one resurrection by which we, too, shall be raised on the Last Day.
      1. One Baptism that we share. One Supper where He brings life, forgiveness, and peace – it is all in Jesus, the Root of Jesse’s Tree!