WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY, 29, 2012
Genesis 22:8 “…my son, God will provide himself a sacrifice…”
SCRIPTURE READING: GENESIS 22:1-8
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom 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.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two 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 of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
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 to you,
6 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.
7 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 the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Long before the foundations of Jerusalem were laid, before the walls were raised and Solomon’s temple was dedicated, before prophets and priests and kings walked the streets of the Holy City, there was on that very site a most astounding happening.
Two thousand years before Christ entered Jerusalem, God called Abraham to go to that place and offer up his only son—the son he so dearly loved—as a sacrifice.
Abraham obeyed. Men of faith always do. Abraham, Isaac, and two young men rose up early to begin their trek. Men of faith obey immediately.
When the mount of sacrifice came into sight, Abraham instructed the two young men to wait. He said, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you.” Abraham took the wood he had brought for the sacrifice and laid it upon Isaac, his only begotten son. He himself took the knife and the fire.
As they walked up that rocky hillside Isaac asked the obvious, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham prophesied, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb.”
An altar was built. The wood was laid on the altar. Then Abraham’s only son laid down on the altar, bound and ready to die.
Isaac may have been 33 years of age, his father 133. Isaac could have run. Abraham could have refused. But both steadfastly obeyed—Abraham obeyed God. Isaac obeyed his father. Here is living, active faith. “See how [Abraham’s] faith worked, and by works [his] faith is made perfect?” James explains. “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness, and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:22-24).
That day a voice from heaven halted Abraham’s sacrifice of his son.
But two thousand years later there was no voice from heaven to halt the sacrifice of God’s Son. On that fateful day, there was only a cry lifting from earth to heaven—“Into thy hands I commit my spirit.” God had “provided himself a lamb!”
“But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8).
PRAYER: Our Father in Heaven, How sincerely thankful we are today for the sacrifice of your only begotten Son. We look at the cross and stand amazed. We sing “When He was on the cross, I was on His mind.” How marvelous! But it is our prayer that you will be on our mind throughout this day. Keep us mindful that your ears are listening to us, your eyes are watching over us, and your Spirit is looking through us. May all that we do bring honor, and glory, and praise to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. To God be the Glory! In Jesus’ Name. Amen. Our Father &c…