And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:29
One of the things we probably don’t think much about at Christmas time is how the incarnation of Jesus fulfills the Abrahamic Covenant. The Abrahamic Covenant is an amazing relationship between God and Abraham that promised him three things: Land, Seed, and Blessing.
Genesis 12:1-3. Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God promised Abraham that he would give him a new land, the Promised Land, where God would live with Abraham and his offspring forever. God has always wanted to live with us. When man was forced out of the Garden of Eden due to sin, God made a plan to restore humanity to the land of promise through Abraham. Abraham (the new Adam) would dwell with God in this place.
God promised Abraham that he would be a “great nation.” That he would have many offspring. The covenant would be fulfilled by this Seed. Much like the promise to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15, this Seed would bring hope and healing to the nations.
God promised Abraham that he would be blessed in order to be a blessing. That through Abraham all nations on the earth would be blessed. Were these promises meant only for Abraham himself?
Did Abraham see these promises fulfilled?
Are these meant to be seen as only physical realities or is there a spiritual element to this covenant? Well our Fighter Verse begins to answer this question doesn’t it? “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring (seed).”
Let’s look at each of the three elements of the Abrahamic Covenant again, this time connecting it to Christ.
Even Abraham realized that the dwelling that he longed for was not just a physical reality but a spiritual one.
Hebrews 11:10. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.(NLT)
Abraham always lived in tents because he knew that the eternal city would be built by God. His forever home was not this earth. It is what we know now is the New Earth, with a New Jerusalem built by God, where He will dwell with us forever.
Jesus makes all of this possible. But beyond this, for this life now, Jesus is our dwelling place. He is our promised land. We are rooted and built up in him (Col. 2:7). Jesus is our promised possession. Our inheritance. And we are his. He dwells in our hearts (Eph. 3:17). This physical earth will be replaced by the New Earth and we will live forever with Jesus. But beyond that we live forever IN Jesus and He IN us. Christmas is about celebrating our true inheritance- Christ himself.
Jesus is the ultimate seed of promise. Like Isaac, whose birth was miraculous, Jesus miraculously was born to fulfill the covenant made with Abraham and to fulfill every promise God ever made to mankind.
Galatians 3:16. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.
Paul saw the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises in Christ. He is the Seed who would make every promise come true. God promised Abraham a great nation. Was this fulfilled physically? Yes- the nation of Israel. But was this also fulfilled through Christ, as he creates a holy nation, a new royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) unto God?
Look again at our Fighter Verse. You and I are the “seed” of Abraham. How? I’m not Jewish. But if we are in Christ we are Abraham’s spiritual seed of faith. This is made possible by Christ, for Christ.
That is what Christmas is about- giving God a big family. A new nation of the spiritual children of Abraham and Jesus.
God told Abraham that through him every nation on earth would be blessed. By now you know exactly where this is going- Jesus is that blessing! Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David, Solomon- these offspring do not bless me. At least not eternally.
Jesus is the blessing because he is the substitute for all humanity. He is the one who would be born to the woman, born without sin, born to die. He would courageously carry his cross and die the death for you and me that we deserve. No other offspring has done this for us.
Jesus IS our blessing. Not just his death, but also his very life. His life lives in us by faith. In Christ we have every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). How? Because we have his likeness growing inside of us. This means that we have all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
Christmas is not just about the physical blessings of family and gifts. These things are shadows. Jesus is the true blessing- his death and his indwelling life.
Have you been blessed by Christmas? Have you received the promise made to Abraham that is fulfilled through Jesus Christ?