Breaking the Rules

What’s In the Case?

I apologize ahead of time.  I’m not going to play by my own rules.  Guess what’s in the case?  It’s empty.  Today, I’m celebrating emptiness!

A wise woman I love once said that we always think of things as having two possible outcomes.  Yes or no.  This happens or it doesn’t.  But, God very often uses a third option that we couldn’t even think of.  On Sunday, we celebrated a world changing third option.  He is risen!  The tomb is empty.

Do you need a third option today?  Are you looking for an answer that is neither yes, nor no?  This morning as I was reading in Genesis.  I witnessed God’s third option for Abraham and Isaac.  God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son on a mountain in the region of Moriah.  Abraham cut the wood and journeyed up the mountain with his son.  He laid his son on the altar and put his hand on his knife.  Then God called out to him from heaven, “Abraham!  Abraham!”, and he stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac.  Abraham looked up and saw a ram in the thicket.  He sacrificed it instead, and called that place, The Lord Will Provide.

On the way up the mountain, Isaac asked his father what they were going to sacrifice and Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”  Abraham’s words came from faith in the God of the inconceivably creative third choice.  Hebrews 11 tells us more, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.  He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’  Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.”

This week as we live in the glow of Resurrection Sunday, I celebrate the limitless creativity of a third choice God.  I celebrate the faith that was strengthened in Abraham, even to the point of sacrificing his son and his life dream.  And, I celebrate the empty tomb as God’s intimate reminder that his ways are not our own, he has other options that we cannot even begin to conceive of.

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