Friday 27th March 2020 Devotion
Scripture:- Genesis 22:1-24
Topic:- Why Did God Ask Abraham To Sacrifice Isaac 
Text:- Genesis 22:2
E. Just as God called the Prophet Hosea to act the part of God in marrying a prostitute (Hosea 1) and told Ezekiel to lie on his side for over a year to symbolize the siege of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 4), so God asked Abraham to play the part of God in the sacrifice of his own son.
This begs the question: What son are we talking about here?
F. Genesis 22 Points To Jesus:
1. The entire Bible points to Jesus, and this is especially true of Genesis 22. This passage is like a lock, and Jesus is the key that unlocks it for us.
2. Think about the parallels between this story and the story of Jesus. Both Isaac and Jesus are “beloved sons” who have been long-awaited and are born in miraculous circumstances. See Genesis 22:1; Matthew 3:17.
3. Both sons carry the wood that is to be the instrument of their deaths on their backs. See Genesis 22:6; John 19:17.
4. In both cases, the father leads the son, and the son follows obediently toward his own death. See Genesis 22:3; Matthew 26:39.
5. God provides the sacrifice, which Abraham says will be a lamb. See Genesis 22:8; John 1:29.
6. Jesus was also an innocent son who went willingly up the mountain to be crucified. Jesus is the True Isaac.
7. What do all these parallels mean? Abraham and Isaac point beyond themselves to the Messiah.
8. This story is a parable of the greater redemption God would someday accomplish through one of their descendants, Jesus.
9. An exchange happens in Genesis 22, the ram in place of Isaac. This points to the greater exchange that happens at the cross, the Son of God in place of us.
9. In Jesus, God brings his own promised Son into death and through it. Just like Isaac, God spares humanity because He takes the cross on Himself.
G. The Comfort of the Cross:
1. Most people aren’t disturbed by the outcome of Genesis 22. Instead, it’s the fact that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in the first place.
2. How could Abraham agree? This seems more like parental neglect than faithful obedience.
3. But remember what we’ve covered so far. If Isaac represents Jesus in the story, then Abraham stands in for God.
From that angle, Abraham’s willingness is comforting.
4. This is the point that Paul makes when he draws language from Genesis 22 to ask, “He who did not spare His own son, but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” See Romans 8:31.
5. On the grounds of this sacrifice, Paul pronounces one of the strongest messages of hope and consolation in all of Scripture, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” See Romans 8:38-39.
H. But Why Death At All:
1. Perhaps seeing this story in the larger context of Jesus’ sacrifice doesn’t relieve your troubling questions but only makes them worse. After all, God is still requiring the death of a son, only this time it’s His own!
2. Why does death have to be involved at all? Why such violence? Couldn’t God just wave His hand and fix things? Why did there have to be a sacrifice?
3. To answer these questions, we need to ponder the entire biblical story. In the beginning, God made a good world and created beings in His image to rule it with Him. See Genesis 1:26-28.
4. He offered them richness of life because it was a life with Him, the source of all life. But there was a condition, that if they turned away from Him, they would die because nothing can live away from God. Yet that is exactly what they chose.
5. God didn’t introduce death into the equation; humanity did. God’s problem (and ours) is figuring out how to deal with it.
6. God can’t pretend death isn’t there. He is life, and we have chosen to live by our own standards. The Hebrew Scriptures wrestle with the question of how death will be resolved. And the answer it gives is sacrifice.
7. Sacrifice is the death of one thing so something else can have a new life. What makes the gospel such good news is that God solves the problem of death, not by demanding the death of everything touched by the stain of evil but by offering Himself instead. The result of Jesus’s sacrifice means new life for us all.
I. So where do we land:
1. On the surface, Genesis 22 is a problematic passage. But when we see how this story fits in with the broader context of Scripture, we see that this is one of the clearest stories pointing us toward God’s solution to the problem of death in our world.
2. In choosing Abraham, God launches a plan to rescue the world. Abraham’s words to Isaac ultimately point to Jesus, “God Himself will provide the sacrifice.”
Prayer Point:- Oh Lord God, help me to reciprocate Your love in truth henceforth by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.