Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. So he took the ram
and sacrificed it in place of his son.
22 opens with the Lord instructing Abraham to take his “only” son Isaac and to
sacrifice him in the land of Moriah. To understand that magnitude of the
request we must understand that this boy was a child of promise. Abraham
waited on this promised son of Sarah for many years, although not always
operating in patience. Abraham wound up having another son (Ishmael) with
his servant. This really made Isaac his second son, but God referred to
him as the “only” son, because he was the son of promise. Abraham
incredibly looked beyond his years of frustration while waiting for the boy and
beyond the awesomeness of the request and set out the next morning to kill the
son that he loved for the God that he served. He got up early in the
morning and took off with his donkey, the materials for the sacrifice, his
servants, and his son. After a three day journey Abraham finally saw the
place that Lord led him to in the distance. He told his servants,
“Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will
worship and then we will come back to you.” Notice that he said, “…we
will come back to you.” He had faith in God that somehow they would
both be back together. Abraham built the altar and arranged the
wood. He then bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar. Here you
have an old man that waited many years for a child of promise; taking the same
child and raising a knife to kill him for the God of the promise. When
Abraham lifted up his knife to shed the blood of his promised son the angel of
the Lord stopped him and brought his attention a ram that was caught in a
nearby thicket. The Lord honoured his faith and provided the ram for the
sacrifice in the stead of the boy. This is chock-full of
application about faith, promises, and provision; but our focus this morning is
a seldom talked about subject – substitution. Let’s take a closer
Isaac was the second son, but he was the child of promise.
God instructed the ‘Father of Faith’ to sacrifice this second and promised son.
At the point of sacrifice, the Lord stopped it and provided a ram to die in the
stead of the man. God tested Abraham’s faith, but stopped him before human
sacrifice. God would reserve the shedding of human blood to that of His
only begotten Son and the Old Testament would continue to riddled with the
blood of animals for the actions of man. The ram in the text and all other
animals sacrificed after it had nothing to do with the circumstances
surrounding the sacrifice, but they died so that humanity could live. This
is called substitution.
what does this mean to you today? Remember that the Old Testament is but a
foreshadow of the New. Let’s take a look at the New Testament revelation
of this text:
Like Isaac, Jesus was the second (Adam was the first) and promised Son of
God instructed Jesus to offer Himself as a sacrifice, thereby shedding human
blood and ending the requirement for the shedding of animal blood.
Jesus was the only human to never commit sin and therefore not required to pay
the penalty for it; but He substituted His righteousness for our sin. He
became the innocent Lamb that paid the price for the guilty man. He took
on our guilt and gave us His innocence so that we could take on His innocence
and give Him our guilt. This is substitution.
We can now face this day with the peace and assurance that we have been
redeemed. Jesus died a substitutionary death so that we could live a
substitutionary life. He died for you so that you could live for
Him. What are you going to do today that will honour His sacrifice?
for this day: Lord
God. With my whole heart I seek You and declare that I will not fail to
give you praise for dying that I might live. You substituted Your Son for
my sin and I now substitute my life for His. I will be Your legs to walk
and Your mouth to talk this day. Use me as an instrument of Your anointing. I
honour You Lord with my life and service. I live my life in the name of
the one who died so that I could live.