April 05, 2023

The Replacement Lamb

Genesis 22:1-19

“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

—  Genesis 22:8

Abraham had already passed through several tests of his faith in God. God had called Abraham to move to another land, and he did (Genesis
12:1-7). God had promised to give Abraham an heir, and he believed (15:4-6). God had said that all the males in Abraham’s household were to be circumcised to be part of God’s covenant with him and his descendants, so Abraham did that too (17:9-27).

But now Abraham faced the hardest test of all. After receiving his son Isaac and seeing him grow in fulfillment of God’s promises, Abraham was told by God to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. So, trusting that God could even raise the dead and keep his promises (see Hebrews 11:19), Abraham responded in obedience. Abra­ham loved Isaac, but he loved God more. And God had kept all his promises. So Abraham trusted God.

Isaac said, “The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb, my son.” Abraham then prepared the altar and got ready to offer his son there.

But God did not want Isaac sacrificed; God wanted Abraham’s love. In this gripping test of faith, God was pointing ahead to show that Jesus, his only Son, would become a sacrifice for us. For Isaac there was a substitute lamb, and Jesus became the Lamb of God for us. God “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

Lord God, thank you for giving up your only Son to die in my place. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Hernandes Lopes

Rev. Hernandes Dias Lopes grew up in a Christian home in Brazil. Following his 1981 graduation from Seminário Presbiteriano do Sul in Campinas, Brazil, he served two congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Brazil. In 2000, he earned a doctor of ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Rev. Lopes has been the voice of the television program Verdade e Vida (“Truth and Life”) since 2006. In 2010 he was appointed Portuguese ministry leader for Back to God Ministries International. Rev. Lopes and his wife, Tinha, have two college-age children.

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