John 8:56 Index
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad."
Research Material

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day..."

  • An ancient Jewish tradition taught that in connection with the experience recorded in Genesis 15:9-21, Abraham received a revelation of the future. (5BC 993)
  • Christ said to the Pharisees, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad." How did Abraham know of the coming of the Redeemer? God gave him light in regard to the future. He looked forward to the time when the Saviour should come to this earth. His divinity veiled by humanity. By faith he saw the world's Redeemer coming as God in the flesh. He saw the weight of guilt lifted from the human race, and borne by the divine substitute. (1BC 1092)
  • The gospel preached to Abraham, through which he had hope, was the same gospel that is preached to us today, through which we have hope. Abraham looked unto Jesus, who is also the Author and the Finisher of our faith. (6BC 1077)
  • Abraham had greatly desired to see the promised Saviour. He offered up the most earnest prayer that before his death he might behold the Messiah. And he saw Christ. A supernatural light was given him, and he acknowledged Christ's divine character. He saw His day, and was glad. He was given a view of the divine sacrifice for sin. Of this sacrifice he had an illustration in his own experience. The command came to him, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, ... and offer him ... for a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22:2). Upon the altar of sacrifice he laid the son of promise, the son in whom his hopes were centered. Then as he waited beside the altar with knife upraised to obey God, he heard a voice from heaven saying, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me.” (Genesis 22:12). This terrible ordeal was imposed upon Abraham that he might see the day of Christ, and realize the great love of God for the world, so great that to raise it from its degradation, He gave His only-begotten Son to a most shameful death.
    • Abraham learned of God the greatest lesson ever given to mortal. His prayer that he might see Christ before he should die was answered. He saw Christ; he saw all that mortal can see, and live. By making an entire surrender, he was able to understand the vision of Christ, which had been given him. He was shown that in giving His only-begotten Son to save sinners from eternal ruin, God was making a greater and more wonderful sacrifice than ever man could make. (DA 468-469)
  • The hope of Israel was embodied in the promise made at the time of the call of Abraham, and afterward repeated again and again to his posterity, “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3). As the purpose of God for the redemption of the race was unfolded to Abraham, the Sun of Righteousness shone upon his heart, and his darkness was scattered. And when, at last, the Saviour Himself walked and talked among the sons of men, He bore witness to the Jews of the patriarch's bright hope of deliverance through the coming of a Redeemer. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day,” Christ declared; “and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56). (PK 683)

"...and he saw it, and was glad."

  • The Jews resented Jesus applying Abraham's vision of the future to Himself. Abraham had earnestly longed to see the promised Saviour, and when the revelation was given to him he rejoiced. By contrast the Jews, whose privilege it was to see the days of the Messiah in reality, were disturbed and angry. (5BC 993)
  • Abraham's great act of faith stands like a pillar of light, illuminating the pathway of God's servants in all succeeding ages. Abraham did not seek to excuse himself from doing the will of God. During that three days’ journey he had sufficient time to reason, and to doubt God, if he was disposed to doubt. He might have reasoned that the slaying of his son would cause him to be looked upon as a murderer, a second Cain; that it would cause his teaching to be rejected and despised; and thus destroy his power to do good to his fellow men. He might have pleaded that age should excuse him from obedience. But the patriarch did not take refuge in any of these excuses. Abraham was human; his passions and attachments were like ours; but he did not stop to question how the promise could be fulfilled if Isaac should be slain. He did not stay to reason with his aching heart. He knew that God is just and righteous in all His requirements, and he obeyed the command to the very letter.
    • Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23). And Paul says, “They which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:7). But Abraham's faith was made manifest by his works. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” (James 2:21, 22). There are many who fail to understand the relation of faith and works. They say, “Only believe in Christ, and you are safe. You have nothing to do with keeping the law.” But genuine faith will be manifest in obedience. Said Christ to the unbelieving Jews, “If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.” (John 8:39). And concerning the father of the faithful the Lord declares, “Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” (Genesis 26:5). Says the apostle James, “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17). And John, who dwells so fully upon love, tells us, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” (1 John 5:3).
    • Through type and promise God “preached before the gospel unto Abraham.” (Galatians 3:8). And the patriarch's faith was fixed upon the Redeemer to come. Said Christ to the Jews. “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he should see My day; and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56, R.V., margin). The ram offered in the place of Isaac represented the Son of God, who was to be sacrificed in our stead. When man was doomed to death by transgression of the law of God, the Father, looking upon His Son, said to the sinner, “Live: I have found a ransom.” (PP 153-154)