Where is the lamb for the burnt offering? . . . God himself will provide the lamb. . . .
It was a test of faith that no parent would want to face. God called Abraham to sacrifice his son.
Isaac was the one and only son God had given to Abraham and Sarah as part of the covenant promises. Through Isaac, Abraham and his descendants would be a blessing to the nations. Isaac was therefore special and dearly loved. But the promises of the covenant must have seemed to vanish with this extreme call from God.
It must have been a long, solemn walk up the mountain. Isaac wondered where the lamb for sacrifice was. Abraham, believing in God’s promises, said that God would provide the lamb. By faith, Abraham trusted God to provide. He trusted that God would somehow keep his promises. And as Abraham raised the knife in obedience to kill Isaac, God stopped him.
It was clear that Abraham loved God. And God did provide a sacrifice in Isaac’s place. A ram, caught in the bushes nearby, became the substitute.
The near sacrifice of Isaac points to the sacrifice of Jesus. God gave us the Son he loved, his one and only Son. But at the cross, God “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Romans 8:32). He is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Father, may we never stop being amazed at what your love for us cost you. We praise you that you did not spare your Son but gave him up for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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