Insights: Isaac’s sacrifice
“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” Genesis 22:7-8
This is one of the key passages in the Old Testament. Why? Because it speaks of the coming Redeemer, the Christ. Actually, there is more than one way to interpret this passage.
- “God will provide himself a lamb” most obvious meaning is an immediate answer to Isaac’s question. Abraham is saying that God will provide the lamb for the sacrifice that is about to take place. This is the position of trust. God had promised and given him Isaac. Now God had commanded him to offer Isaac on the altar. This is the ultimate test of how much will a person trust God. Abraham trusted God!”
- “God will provide himself a lamb” has another meaning. This meaning is that God will provide Himself a lamb; in other words, God the Father will provide Himself (God the Son) as the lamb. This speaks to the crucifixion of Christ.
- “God will provide himself a lamb” has a third meaning which is actually an expansion of the second meaning. Whereas Isaac’s question was in reference to the sacrifice about to take place right then, the expanded meaning is in reference to the sacrifice for all of mankind.
It is this third meaning that means so much to us on this side of the cross. Before the cross occurred, before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, before David became King of the Jews, before Moses delivered the Jews from Pharaoh, before Joseph provided refuge for his family in Egypt, before Jacob wrestled with God, and before Isaac ruled, God had already planned everything out. God had planned for our redemption even before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden. He knew they would sin and that we would need a Saviour. And He planned that Jesus, the Lamb of God, would take our place on the cross and pay for our sins!
Such love! Oh that we would respond with love for God. While we strive to do so, we also fail. Our love is often weak and needs to be recharged. But in 1 John 1:9, God tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
What a God!
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.