Read Genesis 22
Focus of verse 8
I am reminded this evening of a time when my wife had a difficult decision to make. She had been asked to do something she really did not want to do, but knew that the right thing would be to do it. After struggling with it for a while she finally gave in to God and agreed that she would do it… only to discover that the need had been filled and so she didn’t have to do it. As we discussed this after the fact she made the statement, “I wonder if sometimes all God wants from us is to be willing.”
This situation with Abraham being asked to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering seems to be a similar situation. Abraham did not want to give his son back to God, in many ways it did not make sense, but he knew it was the right thing to do so he made plans to do what God had asked, trusting that God would somehow keep His promise regarding offspring. In the final analysis, he similarly discovered that all God wanted was to know that Abraham was willing to obey.
It is interesting to me that during the trek up the mountain with Isaac, Abraham also utters a profoundly prophetic statement regarding the future birth of Jesus as the final Passover Lamb who’s blood would redeem all humanity. Isaac observes that there is a critical item missing as they go to offer a burnt offering on the mountain, and asked the obvious question, “where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”
Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.(v, 8)
This image of God providing the lamb, as well as a father preparing to offer his only son is a powerful picture of what God would do many years later when He gave up His only Son Jesus as a sacrifice that would redeem all humanity and make reconciliation with God possible for all humanity. Jesus gave up everything to redeem us, not surprisingly, we cannot experience all He offers us until we are willing to give up all we think we own.