Wednesday after Ad te levavi, The First Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19 (NKJV)
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided.”
15 Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
Once again, we hear of God bestowing His blessing, this time upon His servant Abraham.
The account of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son usually draws most of our attention to Abraham. After all, he is the one who listened to God and did as God had told him by taking Isaac “to the land of Moriah.” We see the willingness of Abraham, the father, to do as God commands.
However, often overlooked is another important person in this story: Isaac. Scripture refers to Isaac as a “lad” or “young man.” Abraham had laid “the wood of the burnt offering” on his son, his one and only son. Isaac asks, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham assures Isaac that the Lord would provide a lamb. Abraham builds the altar, piles the wood on it, then binds his son and places him on the altar. Isaac could have easily overpowered Abraham, who by this time was around 115-120 years old, and simply ran away. Instead, Isaac is willing to be bound and to be laid upon the altar. Isaac obeys his father, and God.
We can gives thanks to our Heavenly Father and to His Son for offering up the sacrifice for our sins. God the Father laid the cross on Christ, His Son, His one and only Son. Jesus did not run but willingly offered Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. Indeed, God provided the Lamb just as Abraham said.
You offered up Your Son as sacrifice for my sins. Forgive me for His sake. Amen.