Genesis 22:8 - Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son."
Imagine what it must have been like for Isaac. His father, obviously upset, organizes a three-day trip and says, "We're going to go offer a sacrifice." Nothing more. No information about the who, what, or why of the sacrifice—and where is the lamb, anyway? When Isaac asks, he gets only the mysterious "God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son."
At some point Isaac must have figured it out. Was it when his father loaded him up with the wood for the sacrifice—probably more than Isaac expected for a small lamb? Or maybe it was when his father took out the rope and began to bind him. Did he panic? I would have.
But Isaac submitted. Surely, he could have overpowered his dad and escaped—after all, Abraham was well over a hundred years old, and Isaac was a strong young man capable of carrying large loads of wood, even up a mountain. He could have escaped. But he chose not to. He allowed his father to bind him without putting up a fight. He even seems to have lain down on that altar himself—it's not likely that Abraham alone could have lifted him. However strange it seems, Isaac and Abraham were of one heart when it came to this sacrifice.
Jesus, too, was of one heart and mind with His Father when it came to the sacrifice of the cross. As a human being, He knew the full effect of terror and dread. He had the option of escape, just as Isaac did—as He told Peter, "Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once send Me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53) But Jesus refused to take it—because He loved us.
There was no last-minute reprieve for Jesus. He suffered, He died, and was buried. But the hope that Abraham had—that his son would be resurrected—came true for Jesus (see Hebrews 11:9). Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again. And because of Him, we too have the hope of resurrection and everlasting life.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You that You were of one mind with the Father when it came to saving us. Amen.
What are you most afraid of?
Have you ever done something you were afraid to do because you loved and trusted the one asking you to do it? If so, what?
Does it make a difference for you, to know that Jesus voluntarily lay down His life for you—that He was not forced? How?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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