Why didn't God send himself instead of Jesus?


#1

This question was asked by a new member, bcarroll, in the AAA forum:

Why did God send Jesus? Why didn’t he send himself instead?

and Michelle Arnold replied:

By the word God, I assume that you mean God the Father and are asking why the Father sent the Son instead of sending himself.

It is always treacherous to presume to know God’s reasons for doing anything, but some speculation might be possible. For example, while one can choose to do something, one cannot “send” oneself. Perhaps it was important to the Father to “send” his Son. As another example, it is more sacrificial for the Father to send his Son than for him to take care of the job himself. As an analogy, consider for a moment the parent/child relationship. Parents naturally want to spare their children suffering and often feel that they would rather die themselves than see their children die. By sacrificing his own Son for the sake of humanity, the Father is taking the more difficult route than he would have had he chosen to incarnate himself.

There may, of course, be reasons that we cannot fathom this side of eternity – not to mention reasons that, in our finite limitations, we may never be able to fathom. In the end, all we can know for certain is that the Father chose the plan of salvation that he, in his omniscience, considered best.

I think this is a really interesting question. What I would like to discuss is the parallel of the Father sending and sacrificing Jesus, and the story of Abraham. Was Abraham’s story a sign or prediction of the Father sacrificing His own Son? I’ve never really thought of this before, but it occurred to me as I was reading Michell’s answer. Any thoughts?


#2

Jesus is God.
He is every bit as much God as the father is God. They are one and the same.

God himself became one of us, which still overwhelms me everytime I think of it.


#3

I’ve heard it described that Christ veils Himself in the simplicity of the bread and wine of the Eucharist because if we could see Him as He is, we would be too ashamed of ourselves to ever approach Him. He gave us a way to come to Him.


#4

Um, did you guys read my post…?


#5

Kind of feel like a victim of drive-by apologetic, eh? Sorry about that. I confess I read the top and dove right in without reading the bottom.:o

While I do see a parallel in Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, I believe the real message here is one of obedience and faith. Had God not stopped Abraham, what would have been gained by his son’s death?

On the other hand I do see where you might be going…Abraham so loved God that he was willing to sacrifice his only son does parlay nicely to God so loved the world that He gave it His only son.


#6

I was in a study group where we studied the story of Abraham and one of the members kept finding connections that were great (these were not my ideas). I only remember a few…

The journey to the mountain took three days -> three days in the tomb
They had servants with them who were then left behind -> Jesus’s followers abandoned him
Isaac carried the wood -> Jesus carried the cross
The actual offering of a lamb took the place of his son -> Jesus’s death on the cross was in place of each of us.

Also, a Rabbi at the meeting said that Isaac was actually much older than he is always portrayed (not 10 but about 20ish). So he had to be somewhat willing to lay down when his father (who was over 100) finally told him what was going on.


#7

Abraham’s sacrifice does prefigure that of Christ’s. Along with those parallels already mentioned are:

The land of Moriah is also Calvary.

Isaac asks where the lamb is for the sacrifice, and Abraham prophetically says “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

The ram they found was caught in a thicket by his horns; perhaps a prefigurement of the crown of thorns?


#8

Cool, this is good stuff! I love seeing parallels from the OT seen in the NT.

Drive-by apologetics… I like it :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

I heard ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN speak on this and one of the things he said was that when Isaac asks where is the lamb that question echoed through the ages until it was answered by Jesus’s death on the cross.


#10

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