December 05, 2017

Only Son Isaac

Genesis 22:1-19

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

—  Genesis 22:8

We can only wonder what Abraham was thinking on the way to Moriah with Isaac. When Isaac asked about the lamb for the offering, we can only guess why Abraham answered the way he did: “God himself will provide the lamb.” Did Abraham say this because he knew God is a loving God and would never really make Abraham sacrifice his son?

Unlike the false religions of the neighboring peoples, belief in God does not call for human sacrifice. But God does demand other kinds of sacrifices. God demands that nothing can mean more to us than loving and serving him. Perhaps in this test of Abraham, God was asking, “Do you love me more than even your precious son?” Abraham’s answer, shown by his obedience and trust, was “Yes.”

This story points to another story of sacrifice, which shows that God loves us so much that he “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Romans 8:32). Jesus didn’t come just to be a great teacher. He came to be the final sacrifice for our sins. His death on the cross ended the curse of sin and death for us. That’s how much God loves us.

How much do you love God? Enough to give your all “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing” to him (Romans 12:1)?

Thank you, Jesus, for coming to be the sacrifice that takes away our sin. Thank you for loving us so much. May we give our all to you each day. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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