Righteous and Faithful

Prayer: Not all the blood of beasts,
            On Jewish altars slain
       Could give the guilty conscience peace,
            Or wash away the stain.
       But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb,
       Takes all our sins away;
       A sacrifice of nobler name,
       And richer blood than they.

Read: Genesis 22:1-14

Think about It: 
A few of the Old Testament characters act as a “type” of Christ. That means they mirror the life and work of Christ in accordance with God’s will. Isaac acts as a type of Christ in this story on several different points. One, he is Abraham’s only son, which is repeated several times throughout the passage. Two, Isaac carries the wood to the place of sacrifice, just as Jesus carried His own cross. Three, Isaac is a willing participant in these events. And four, he is spared in the end. Oh wait, God did not spare His Son. Jesus finished the sacrifice, as that is what was needed to purchase our salvation. While Abraham did not have to see the death of his son, our Heavenly Father was forced to witness the death of Jesus. In His case, it wasn’t a test but our reality.

The writer to the Hebrews gives us an insight into what Abraham was thinking and experiencing in this incredible event. “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”  (Hebrews 11:17-19) This was a test of Abraham’s faith and he passes with flying colors. He believed that even if he had slain his son, God would have brought him back to life. After this story, we find no more incidents of Abraham failing in his faithful service to God. He doesn’t tell foreign kings that Sarah is his sister. He doesn’t live in fear anymore. He has faced his greatest fear – the loss of his son – with faith in God. It is a turning point. And there is our take home point for today – when we fear only God, there is far less in the world that can scare us or threaten our faith. This is a fantastic story to return to over and over again when we ourselves are tested. The true shining point in this story isn’t Abraham’s faith, it is God’s faithfulness.

Prayer: My faith would lay its hand,
             On that dear head of Thine,
       While as a penitent I stand,
             And there confess my sin.

         My soul looks back to see,
       The burden Thou didst bear
       When hanging on the cursèd tree;
       I know my guilt was there.

       Believing, we rejoice,
       To see the curse remove;
       We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,
       And sing His bleeding love.
Not All the Blood of Beasts – LSB 431 – Public domain