Looking again at the pivotal moment of Abraham’s great testing, we examine the depth of Abraham’s trust and the symbolic significance of his unknowingly prophetic words, that God himself would provide the lamb for sacrifice. Where have you placed your trust today?
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Transcript: Once again welcome to “5 minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you chose to join us today because we’re talking about Abraham and his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. It’s a dramatic story. I sure hope that you were with us for the last episode where I introduced it and pointed out that it was God’s intention to have a picture of redemption and salvation. And what happens here is Abraham is walking with his son to the top of the mountain. And we ended last time by stressing the fact that Abraham had the fire and the knife and Isaac had the wood put on his shoulders, symbolizing the fact that Jesus Christ carried His cross and the two of them are journeying together. What a story.
Genesis 22—they both went together and Isaac said to his father, Abraham, “my father” and he said, “Here I am my son.” He said, “here’s the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham says, “God will provide for Himself the lamb.” And they walk together. Now, isn’t it interesting, the answer that Abraham gave, “God will provide for Himself the lamb.” I have to say that the question actually that Isaac asked is the question that is asked all throughout the Old Testament: “Where is the lamb?” And it’s asked until John the Baptist, standing at the shores of the river—the Jordan River, says, “behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” You have all the sacrifices in the Old Testament and, in effect, they’re all crying out and asking this question: Where is the Lamb? And Abraham said that God will provide for Himself a lamb. You know there are ways to interpret this to indicate that God was actually saying that He would be the lamb. He would provide Himself as being the lamb and that’s the uniqueness of Christianity, by the way. There are plenty of religions out there that tell you that they need a blood sacrifice, but only in Christianity does God become the sacrifice. And Abraham here is trusting God.
You’ll notice that when he spoke to the two men, as we indicated last time, he said, “I want you to stay here at the base of the mountain and my son and I—we will return to you.” What’s going on there? Well, the book of Hebrews clarifies that and says that Abraham was willing to even believe that, if necessary, God would raise him from the dead, because, after all, the promises of God had to be fulfilled. They get to the top of the mountain and you can almost see it in your imagination. The old man begins to build an altar. He begins by picking up stones far away and putting them together and Isaac is wondering where is the lamb? Where’s the sacrifice? And finally, Abraham has to tell him, “you are the sacrifice.” The Bible puts a curtain on that because there’s no way that we can possibly comprehend the conversation that they had, the tears that were shed. And then Isaac is bound and laid on the altar and as the old man’s knife was gleaming in the morning sun, the angel of the Lord speaks and says “Abraham—” He says, “here I am,” he said. “Don’t touch your boy.” God says, “now I know that you fear Me and love Me more than your son.” Well, we’re going to pick it up again next time right here, because we will see that the relationship between the father and the son—we’ve already emphasized it—mirrors the relationship between God, the Father, and God, the Son. That’s why they asked, by the way, the two men to stay at the base of the mountain. When Jesus died, it was all just between Him and His Father. That’s why there was darkness upon the earth. Something was happening there that you and I can only wonder about and contemplate. And here Isaac passes the test, but the imagery isn’t over, so join us again next time as we continue this remarkable study on the life of Abraham and the life of faith, being willing to give up his child in obedience to God. So glad that you joined us today and be sure to join us again next time. But as for today, may all of us just go with God.