Read Genesis 22:1-24
“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He . . . reasoned that God could raise the dead . . .” (Hebrews 11:17-19).
Did God really ask what I think He did? As if reminding Abraham of the incredible value his son Isaac had, He instructed this dad to do what we can neither fathom nor expect to hear, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there . . .” (Genesis 22:2). It was a test. Was Abraham’s trust in God implicit?
I mean, think about a couple of key questions that went unanswered.
- Who in his right mind would ask a father to sacrifice his son?
- Just exactly how are you going to fulfill your promise of a nation through Isaac if he is no longer in the picture?
We have no evidence that God provided an answer to question #2 in advance. By faith, however, Abraham drew his own conclusion.
Isaac had been the product of a miraculous birth. Beyond the age of childbearing, God had allowed Abraham and Sarah to conceive. Surely God could bring about a miracle at Isaac’s death . . . a resurrection. Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary. God provided a goat in Isaac’s place. That’s significant. God has a way of providing for those who obey Him by faith. There is a mountain, Mt. Moriah, whose name reminds us of that.
As to question #1? Who in their right mind would ask a father to sacrifice his son? The same One, who as a Father, would later send His own Son to earth and allow Him to be sacrificed. Motivated by extreme love for people like you and me, our Heavenly Father, gave His Son Jesus Christ. This is the hope of Christmas.
Abraham’s story was a foreshadowing of another Father/Son sacrifice . . . God’s miraculous provision for us. But though this sacrifice wasn’t interrupted in the final seconds, it ended miraculously. It ended in resurrection!
Both stories speak of God’s provision. Both point to the promise of life through Jesus Christ. And both point to hope, the hope of Advent, Jesus Christ, God’s provision.