‘Take your son’, God said, ‘your only son, Isaac, whom you love so much, and go to the land of Moriah. There on a mountain that I will show you, offer him as a sacrifice to me.’ Early the next morning Abraham cut some wood for the sacrifice, loaded his donkey, and took Isaac and two servants with him. They started out for the place that God had told him about. (verses 22:2,3)
Isaac must have been confused. Then terrified.
Since his birth he had been the apple of his father’s eye. Once he was old enough, he went everywhere he could with his father, so being taken on this long trip wouldn’t have been very different from what he was used to. The journey was perhaps longer than any he’d done before.
His question was a reasonable one: ‘Where’s the lamb?’ His father’s reply seemed reasonable too: ‘God will provide one’. This was different from the usual, but not a worry.
Then it became a very big worry. Isaac found himself tied up and lying on an altar, and his father was brandishing a fearsome knife. What on earth was happening?
There was another much-loved son, who knew that his father had very much on his mind. He knew that God would provide a lamb for the sacrifice – and he knew that he himself was the lamb. This son’s obedience was total, as we read in Philippians 2.
Isaac was saved in the nick of time, when God provided a sacrifice. And, when the time was right, you and I were saved. What was fearsome for Isaac was faced with love by Jesus. And we have eternal life because of him.
Thank you, Father, for providing the Lamb. I cannot understand just how much it cost you. All I can do is weep with gratitude that you were willing to pay the price. Amen.
by Bob Turnbull, in ‘God’s Promises for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1999)
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