Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Come And Mourn With Me Awhile"1 (Lyrics)
A young girl witnessed a scary time when her parents disagreed and her erratic mother raised a sharp kitchen knife toward her father. God intervened and tragedy was prevented. Her father retreated. No one was hurt.
Genesis 22:6-8a – Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?"
"Yes, my son," Abraham replied.
"The fire and the wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." (NIV)
Abraham's knife is raised in his hand to kill his son when the angel of the Lord called out to him, "Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only Son" (Genesis 22:11-12). Just then, Abraham sees a ram caught in the bushes, a sacrifice that God has provided.
Today, when we hear this story, we rejoice when God stops Abraham before the boy's blood might flow. We empathize when God commends Abraham for his willingness to give up his only son, and we marvel at God's timely provision of the ram.
But something more significant is here: Although Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son, God actually did sacrifice His only Son. As the KJV puts verse 8, "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering".
When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29b NIV). God gave His Son, His only Son, Jesus Christ, "The Lamb of God," as the sacrifice for all of us—for all of humankind. According to 2 Chronicles 3:1, Mt. Moriah was in Jerusalem, leading to the possibility that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday at or near the place that Abraham sacrificed what God provided.
The psalmist asked, "How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me?" (Psalm 116:12). Actually, no human being can ever repay the Lord, but we can respond as the psalmist immediately did to his own question, "I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people" (Psalm 116:13-14). The psalmist determined to respond in faith to God, and also to let his fellow men witness his faith.
We are all challenged to do the same. Together, we can rejoice in the Lord's salvation with praise and worship.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord for making all things work together for good for those who love You, for those who are called according to Your purposes (Romans 8:28). Increase our faith, we pray, and guide and assist us in making the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ known. In His name, we pray. Amen.