Genesis 22: 1And 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.
Luke 2: 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Galatians 4: 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest. Is God being hard on Abraham? Is he asking something unnecessary? Abraham didn’t have to be reminded who Isaac was, but God didn’t want Abraham to get it turned around. God wanted Abraham’s only son with Sara—Isaac. Was he being cruel? The words must have cut Abraham to the core, but this shows the emphasis God puts on the importance of one of a kind. Isaac was the only son of Abraham and Sara. He had a son with Hagar named Ishmael, but it was Isaac wanted. He was the only one acceptable to God. Abraham knew he couldn’t barter or protest with God and offer his animals or gold and silver. He knew God wanted his son. The choice was simple: obey God and sacrifice his son or disobey God.
This speaks seriously to us. There is no variableness in how a person can be saved and have a hope of heaven. There are not multiple choice ways to heaven enabling us to pick and choose how we get there. There is only one way. The sin of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God brought with it a requirement from God. They fell and brought the curse of sin on the human race. Sin is inherent in our nature, and it requires someone to die. Either we die ourselves or someone else does it for us. The only one who met the requirements to die was the only begotten Son of God—Jesus Christ. God and Jesus didn’t just come up with this plan off the cuff. When the fullness of time came we didn’t have to do anything. God already had the plan. He sent his Son to redeem us from the curse of Adam and the Law which demanded death for sin.
Abraham was to take his son from the safety of the tent, from his home and mother. I’m sure an unsettled feeling came over Sara as they headed out that day. God knew what he was doing. Sending his Son into the world was a dangerous thing. Jesus knew what would happen to him. God knew. Sara trusted Abraham and the Lord. We must do the same. Abraham could not mistake what God wanted because God was specific. He named Isaac by name. Don’t think you can do something else other than what God says and get to heaven. We must trust God’s plan of salvation and do our part. Abraham’s responsibility was to take Isaac to Mount Moriah. God sent his Son. Through his death he would redeem us. We must follow up with our part—believe in him and be saved—or we’ll die lost and go to hell.
Isaac wasn’t to be cut so he could bleed a little. He was to be offered as a burnt sacrifice. Abraham knew what that meant. His throat was to be cut; his blood was to be put on the altar. The sacrifice would be consumed by fire. Now look at Jesus. In order for us to be forgiven and delivered from sin, it took God’s only begotten Son being cut and pierced. His blood fell over the cross of Calvary. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. The only way God could look down and forgive sins was for a life to be given on the altar. That life was Jesus’.
God was not just testing Abraham. Moriah was a mountain about Salem, Jerusalem in Jesus’ time. This is the area Jesus would be crucified. God didn’t like it any more than Abraham. It had to be a specific son, a specific mountain, and a total sacrifice. There was no other way. I don’t care what other religions say or what the so-called prophets of today tell us. It’s not pretty thing. It was unspeakable. It is what our sin required.
Going up the hill Isaac looked at his father and commented that he saw the wood and the fire. He asked where the sacrifice was. I can see tears in Abraham’s eyes as he replied that God would provide. When they arrived on the mountain Abraham took Isaac. He didn’t run or fight his father. Jesus didn’t run from it either. God knew. Jesus knew. The angels knew. When Jesus was born of Mary, he came for her as he did us. He could die only by becoming human. Mary was the vessel used to make that happen. He would die for her, Joseph, and even Herod as he died for us and the whole world. God sent his Son to redeem us.
Right as Abraham was getting ready to lower his arm to cut the throat of Isaac, the angel of the Lord spoke. He told Abraham not to harm his son. He provided a ram as a substitute. God saw through the eyes of Abraham how it felt for a father to give up his son. Abraham was allowed to spare his son. God did not spare his Son. Without a Savior we are under eternal damnation. God provided for us just as he did Abraham.
The only way we can get to heaven is to trust the one who died in our place. We all have a one and only soul, a one and only life. We also have a one and only Savior. Are we willing to give it all for God as Abraham was? His faith was counted for righteousness. Are we willing to give our life to Jesus? We ought to run to him. God gave his only Son for us. His Son gave his life. The least we can do is give ourselves to him.