What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” ~ Romans 4:3 (NIV)
In your imagination, take a trip to a place that really exists. The place is a small, modest park covered in green grass. In that park are a few picnic tables. One of the picnic tables is under a shade tree. Have a seat. Take a sip from the coffee you’ve purchased from the nearby market. And as you sit there, in the shade, sipping your coffee, let your eyes rest on the massive, stone structure that looms above you.
You have traveled to present-day Palestine. You are in the ancient city of Hebron. And looming over you is an archaeologist’s dream. It is a fully intact building, constructed over 2,000 years ago by none other than Herod the Great—yes, the same Herod who was in power when Jesus was born.
The significance of what you see does not stop there, however. Below the main level of this old building there is what is called the Cave of Machpelah. And according to the Bible (Genesis 25:7-10), the Cave of Machpelah is the very place where Abraham was buried.
With all that in mind, take a moment to do a little reflection. Do a little reflection as you picture yourself quietly sitting in that small park. As you think about Herod, you might consider the shocking shortness of human authority and power. For although one of his buildings remains, Herod has been gone for a long, long time. Or as you think about the bones of Abraham, you might think about the frailty of human life in our fallen world. For although Abraham lived a good long life, his run of years on this earth still came to an end, just like everyone else.
Or, as you sit there, you could also think about what it was that Abraham believed. You could think about the message of the gospel.
The apostle Paul reminds us that “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” When God gave to Abraham the promise that the Savior of the world would one day come, Abraham believed that promise. And through faith in that coming Savior, God declared Abraham righteous. He declared him forgiven. He declared him washed clean of his every sin—all on the basis of what Jesus Christ would one day do on Abraham’s behalf.
For that reason, Abraham is now in heaven. For that reason, his bones will one day be raised to eternal life. And by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, you possess the exact same promise.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in my place you lived a perfect life and went to the cross for my every sin. You did it for Abraham. You did it for me. Now we both have life in you. Thank you. Amen.