What Abraham Saw
When Abraham looked into the future, he saw the day of the Lord Jesus. When he saw it, he rejoiced and was glad (John 8:56). When Abraham looked into the future he saw a city, whose maker and builder is God (Heb. 11:8-10). When Abraham looked into the future, he saw countless multitudes, as displayed for him in the staggering figure of the whole host of heaven (Gen. 15:5). And although he would not have been able to pick us out, because of the greatness of the multitude, he nevertheless saw us standing here by this grave. He saw every believer in principle; he was shown all of his children, even if only in the aggregate.
And he saw us all because he saw the day of the Lord Jesus. He knew the true nature of the day that he was seeing—and the nature was that of a true day. It was therefore a resurrection day. He who had brought Isaac down off the mountain alive (Heb. 11:19) knew what was typified by that particular gift. He received Isaac back as a figure, it says, and Abraham clearly knew the nature of this figure. He was seeking a better city in a better country (Heb. 11:15-16).
So Abraham did not just see a multitude of stars as descendants, but also saw a multitude of resurrected stars. All the stars that he saw by faith were still mortal, and were going to fall to the ground as figs do when shaken by a mighty wind. And then they would somehow come back with unimaginable glory. That glory is far beyond what we can talk about clearly in this, an age of shadows. But still, Abraham saw. And because we are his children, and we are able to see by the same kind of faith that he had, we can see also.
Because the Lord Jesus was laid to rest in a tomb, He shared our curse, embracing it. Jesus Christ took all our sinfulness and all our sins, folded them into His arms as though they were a precious possession, and sank into death. They weren’t a precious possession, but He still held them as though they were—because we were a precious possession. In order to hold our corruptions, He had to hold us, the carrier of those corruptions. He took hold of us and our corruptions, and went to the land of corruptions, and left them all there. He then rose from the dead, still holding us, and appeared in robes that were hard to look at straight on. He did this so that we might receive an inheritance of light. He did this so that we might be an inheritance of light.
Little children, Grandma Bessie’s great-grandchildren, you see here why it is so important to believe in Jesus. You see here why it is so important to love Him for all of your lives. Death is here, and death is an enemy. But because Jesus died and rose, death has been conquered, and so we look forward to that great and glorious day of resurrection. We want to teach you to look forward to that day, just as we do, and as Abraham did.
Because Jesus went down into His tomb, when He didn’t have to, it will be possible for all of us to come up out of our tombs. Just as His tomb is empty now, so will every one of ours be then.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.