God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, the same son God promised him would make Abraham the father of a nation. Abraham was obedient, and just before fulfilling an act that would have killed his son, and the future he believed was promised to him, God halted him and provided a ram to be sacrificed instead.
Most people look to the part of the story where God commanded Abraham to kill Isaac, but look past the part of the story where God provided the sacrifice, the atonement for sin.
This story is provocative. But it also illustrates the character of God. He provides the sacrifice; not just for Abraham, but for the world.
Everyone is a sinner and needs atonement for their sin. No one can do anything to earn heaven, but doing absolutely nothing about your sin leads to hell. God provided the ram by ensnaring it in a thicket (thorn bush). Abraham had to retrieve it for it to be sacrificed. God provided his son, Jesus Christ, by offering him as a sacrifice; adorned with a crown of thorns and outstretched hands nailed to a cross.
The sacrifice was made, but in order to receive its power, you must accept it. Just as God commanded Abraham to make a sacrifice, we must make one ourselves, and that is to die to ourselves and give our lives to God. That means obedience in the same way Abraham made the decision to obey God. It isn’t easy. And sometimes it will seem counter to the world, but the ways of the world lead to death, not just physically, but spiritually as well.
Make no mistake, you can never earn your way to heaven. It is not by works that you are saved, but by the blood of Jesus Christ. Only accepting His gift of eternal life will you be saved. There is NO other way. It doesn’t matter what politicians, Hollywood, social media influencers, or your friends/family might say. Jesus Christ is the only way.
This world is set against God and will use every manner of deception to steer you away from the truth. It isn’t a feeling, or something you read on a website, or a flag, or a political affiliation that will lead you to redemption and sanctification. It isn’t a church that points to any of those things either with promises of prosperity and good fortune.
Acceptance and tolerance in things that spit in the face of the living God does not demonstrate “love”. It demonstrates carnality. It shows slavery to the flesh and things of this world; all the things that the powers of evil are using to keep all of us away from eternal life with the God who loved us enough to give His own life in the form of His son Jesus Christ.
Look around you and see the world for what it truly is; a grim place run by the prince of darkness (and not the floundering old Ozzy).
God loves you and wants you to turn to Him. His love is not some faraway thing that you must clean up your act in order to earn. It is given freely just as you are, and by accepting it you become a child of God. You can’t simply change your ways and find favor with God. There’s not a moral to-do list. You can never do or give enough on your own. Those works are nothing more than filthy rags.
It is the Holy Spirit that makes those changes that lead to everlasting life. All you have to do is accept the truth; Jesus was the son of God, He was born of the virgin Mary, he died a sacrificial death on the cross, descended into hell, and rose on the third day. His life fulfilled well over a hundred prophecies which proclaimed the coming Messiah hundreds of years before His birth. There’s evidence of His life outside of scripture, many written by secularist historians of the time.
And just as there were prophecies of His coming, there are many more about the age to come where Jesus will return for His bride (the church/believers). The world will descend into madness under God’s wrath and it is coming soon.
God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, and in his obedience, God preserved Isaac and provided the sacrifice.
In much the same way, God is calling all of us to make a sacrifice. He wants us to sacrifice the sinfulness we wrap ourselves in like blankets. He wants us to sacrifice the lives we’re leading right now. But in the same way God provided the sacrifice for Abraham, He did the same for me and you. Our sacrifice is a symbolic one. Our hearts and lives will be forever changed by being obedient to His call.
And when you look back, you’ll see that what you are set free from wasn’t worth the punishment it would have ultimately led to.
Accept the call and give all of yourself to Jesus. Be redeemed by the lamb of God. And let’s praise God for all of eternity for what He has done for us.