TUESDAY, AUGUST 15
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 22
Yesterday we read about the birth of Isaac as the miraculous fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah. Although it took many years between the time that God first promised them a child and the time a child was actually born, God is never late nor is He ever early. He is always right on time.
So Isaac was born. The promise is fulfilled. Abraham and Sarah can relax. And then we get to chapter 22. God told Abraham to take Isaac to Moriah and offer Isaac as a burnt offering. I cannot imagine the horror that must have gripped Abraham when he heard this. I can’t imagine the hesitation he must have struggled with. I can’t imagine the obedience/disobedience he must have wrestled with. But all we are told in verse 3 is Abraham got up and headed toward Moriah to do what God had instructed him. Earlier in this story we read that Abraham believed God. This is incredible evident here. This is some crazy believing from my perspective.
As you get a bit further into the story, you will see where Isaac was struggling with what was going on. He realized there was no lamb for the offering. It is at this point in the story that the Gospel begins to be unveiled.
In verse 6, we find Isaac carrying the wood that would be used for the burnt offering. This obviously prefigures Jesus carrying His cross to Golgotha. In fact, Isaac and his father are going up a mountain. Jesus’ crucifixion also took place on a hill.
In verse 8, after Isaac asks about the “lamb”, Abraham answers with the idea that God will provide for Himself the lamb. And again, this obviously prefigures the incredible fact that God provided Jesus as the “Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world”.
From there the story goes on to Isaac being bound and placed on the altar. (Jesus was nailed to the cross.) And Abraham raises the knife to do the unspeakable and unimaginable. It is that pivotal moment in the story that the angel of the Lord appears and stops Abraham.
When we come to verse 13, the focus of the story changes a bit but the Gospel is still the main thing. A ram is suddenly discovered. The description is that the ram was caught in the thicket. This word literally refers to brambles or thorns. So at this point, we see the crown of thorns around the head of Jesus. And the ram is offered as the sacrifice.
This offering of the ram is a wonderful picture of the substitutionary sacrifice that is at the heart of the Gospel. Jesus went to the cross in our place. He was and is our substitute. God allowed His Son to die in our place for our sins. And because allowed that to happen, He graciously allows the resurrected Savior to be our source of life abundant and life eternal.
What an amazing Gospel! What a glorious Savior!