Seeing the day of Christ
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day:
and he saw it and was glad.”
Desires after Christ must surely fill believers’ hearts with holy joy. Such yearnings as these never go unfulfilled. Abraham, though he did not see the Messiah actually manifested in the flesh, had a sight of Him and His day that brought triumphant happiness to his heart.
The height of his desire is expressed in the words of Christ: ‘Abraham rejoiced to see my day’. The word ‘rejoiced’ signifies an expectation so great that Abraham reached out and stretched himself forth to see. He did so because the desire in his heart was so strong. His heart leaped, he was exulted; in reality, overjoyed, as by faith he saw the day of Christ in the promises and types of the One presented to him in the revelation of God. In offering Isaac and then the ram in Isaac’s place, he saw a type of the great sacrifice that would be offered in the fullness of time.
When the eternal Son of God, the glorious Immanuel was manifested in flesh, it was a day more glorious than when the foundations of the world were laid. His incarnation was for the purpose of our salvation and in fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham: ‘In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed’ (Genesis22:18). What joy that the glory of Heaven came down to earth and incarnate Deity manifested His glory through a veil of flesh to a world of sin and misery! Is this not a great and glorious thing done in the day of Christ?
Abraham’s desire after Christ supposes a revelation of Him and of what was to be done in His day. It was a revelation not to the outward man but to his inward soul. He ‘believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness’ (Romans4:3). He believed and he saw. Without faith, we too have no spiritual sight. Abraham believed and saw Christ’s day afar off. Those of Abraham’s spiritual seed today, are often not as clear sighted nor as sure footed. We read that ‘he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform’ (Romans 4:20,21). We stagger so much, often at every step of faith! Yet must we not be desirous to see more of Christ? Then, just like Abraham, we will be glad. His joy was the fruit of his faith. In times of trouble and temptation we may fail to experience this holy joy. But while Christ lives and God’s love is unchanging and His covenant stands, the ground of our rejoicing on which we stand by faith, is always there. Remember, the joy of faith is the most excellent of all. There is great gladness as we view His first coming and it becomes even greater as we contemplate His second coming. Fix your eyes on your coming King, for having borne the cross He is coming to wear the crown.
Rev Leslie Curran.