Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. Genesis 22:4
And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Luke 16:23
Notice the two phrases I highlighted in these two verses: “lifted up his eyes” and “afar off.” Abraham is mentioned in both these verses. In Genesis 22, Abraham lifted up his eyes to see the place afar off. Abraham by faith traveled from where he was to that place. In this place afar off, he found God’s mercy and grace in the form of a substitutionary sacrifice which was a shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ’s substitutionary atonement for our sins. In Luke 16, we see the rich man after he died. The rich man lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off. Abraham was still in the place of God’s mercy and grace. Abraham no longer had to see the place afar off. The rich man, during his lifetime, was in the same place Abraham was when Abraham saw the place afar off. The rich man could have traveled by faith to the place afar off. But now that he died, it was too late. He could no longer travel to the place afar off – he could only see it afar off and scripture goes on to say that after death, those in the same place as the rich man could not come to where Abraham was – the place afar off, the place of God’s mercy and grace.
Are you like Abraham? Have you seen the place of God’s mercy and grace afar off and traveled there by faith? Are you now in the place afar off? Or are you like the rich man? Will you find out after you die – when it is too late – that you can only see the place of God’s mercy and grace afar off?
Tomorrow is Christmas. We will celebrate the birth of Christ. However, the reason he was born was so he could die in my place and in your place. He was the once-for-all sacrifice for sins. Because of his death and resurrection, the way to the place afar off has been given. You only need faith in Christ to take you there.