Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and the wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
The Sacrificial Lamb
The words must have pierced Abraham’s soul. Isaac didn’t mean to wound his father, and under most circumstances, his question wouldn’t have been wounding words. But these were not normal circumstances. God asked a father to offer his only son as an offering to him. It was a test. God wanted to see whom Abraham loved more—his child or his Lord.
Children can ask questions that get to the point and leave adults fumbling for an answer. That’s Isaac on that day with his father. He loved and trusted his dear father so much! With honest eyes and a gentle voice, he asked, “Father, where’s the lamb?”
What would Abraham tell his son? Out of love for his dear son, he couldn’t bluntly say, “Isaac, you’re the lamb this time.” He couldn’t lie and say, “I don’t know.” What would he say, and how would he say it? Holding his son close to him and the Lord’s promises even closer, Abraham breathed deeply and declared, “God himself will provide.”
That’s exactly what happened. God himself provided an offering that day—and the offering was not Isaac. Once God knew he had Abraham’s full trust, the Lord provided an animal instead of Isaac for the sacrifice.
That day pointed ahead to another day when another Father would offer his one and only Son as a sacrifice. His Son’s name is Jesus whose sacrifice on the cross paid for all sin. Don’t underestimate the Father’s love—and the Son’s trust—that you find on the cross! Don’t ever wonder if God loves you. He provided his own Son, the perfect Lamb of God, as an offering. He was willing to give up his Son so he would have you forever.
Thank you, O my Father, for giving your Son as a sacrifice in my place. Enrich me with a greater understanding of your love, love that spared not your own Son, but delivered him up on the cross for me and all people. Amen.