Abraham and the Great Sacrifice
(This is a “picture” of God’s great sacrifice of His beloved Son.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”)
Genesis 22:2 “And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, who thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”
Abraham and Sarah finally had a son by a miracle. Sarah had been enabled by God to have Isaac. They both had been past age for child bearing, and Sarah had been barren, as well.
But God had given them Isaac. And now, some years later, God calls Abraham to sacrifice this well beloved son.
The obedience of Abraham is necessary for us to see.
We often hesitate, or try and get around what God wants (and yes, this happened to Abraham, too, especially in the early life with God.), but Abraham believes God’s word: that in Isaac shall thy Seed be called….Abraham believed God’s promise to him….and so in faith,…obeyed.
We often mistake faith….as a way of thinking about God. If that was the case….by that faith, Abraham could have offered Isaac sitting at the door of his tent….in his head.
No, faith obeys; for it always sees God, and His Will….and knows God is able.
Genesis 22:3. “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place which God had told him.”
Abraham gets up early. Not eager to go; but eager to return, and that would not happen without going.
He takes two servants to keep the donkey that carried the wood, and to carry the fire in a container.
He and Isaac go. It is a three days journey to Mt. Moriah, where God has told him to take Isaac.
Three days to contemplate his failures: was this in consequence for his many failures?
Three days to look at the promised son, and remember the love he and his mother have for him.
Three days to remember his first step, first word, and the strong quiet young man he had become.
Three days to consider this command, and therefore the obedience was more reasonable……and honorable.
What did they speak of? Of the promises of God, I believe, for Abraham was counting on God to fulfill His Word.
Hebrews 11:17-19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
Of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”
They could have talked of the promise of the land in the future. The promise God had told him of future generations. And the promise that the coming Savior would come from them.
They come to the mountain, and Abraham leaves the servants with the donkey at the foot of the mountain and says:
Genesis 22:5 “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again unto you.”
“We will come again”
To believe is to place the whole of our being upon the thing or person we say we believe in.
Abraham believed God. Isaac and he would come back down the mountain.
Abraham believed that God could raise Isaac from the dead.
So they climb up Mt. Moriah (in the New Testament, it is called Calvary), together.
Genesis 22:6-8 “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father, and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is a lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
“Together”, Abraham is trusting that God will bring Isaac back to life; and Isaac is trusting that God will supply the sacrifice.
Genesis 22:9 “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.”
Abraham bound his sons hands; those that had been held out to him when he was learning to walk.
He bound his legs, and placed him on the wood. Perhaps taking a final kiss on the forehead of Isaac.
Let me mention here, that Isaac was a strong young man—not a child. If he had willed to, he could have resisted Abraham, anytime.
But he did not……which is a picture of the willingness of God’s Son, Jesus Christ to do all His Father’s Will….even unto the death of the cross.
Genesis 22:10 “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.”
Abraham begins to do exactly what God told him….
He does not hurry, nor delay, to sacrifice his well beloved son.
Sacrifice means: to place on an altar, with the intent of giving all to God.
When you place it on the altar, it is dead to you.
Genesis 22:11 “And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.”
The angel calls Abraham twice, to make sure he got Abraham’s attention.
God had wanted to test Abraham’s devotion to Him, by his obedience to Him.
Genesis 22:12-13 “And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything to him: for I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from Me.
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns; And Abraham went and took the ram; and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”
The test was done. God had provided the sacrifice.
Genesis 22:14. “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”
Jehovah-jireh means in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen to, or provided for.
God did provide the true sacrifice through His Son, Christ Jesus; to take away the sins of the world.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
God, the Father, sacrificed His well beloved Son that we might be provided for.
We might be provided salvation: full and free.
We might be provided His Holy Spirit: and all the power and guidance He brings us.
We might be provided a place with Him forever.
Let us praise His Holy Name for all He has given us in His Son…..even the trials He leads us through, to manifest Himself in us.