“Abraham I have a task for you," God said to Abraham one day. "I need you to take your only son Isaac, who you love so much, and take him to the land of Moriah. There you must offer Him, to me, as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Slowly he begins to rise to hit feet. “What? You want me to do what?”
Thoughts began to rush in Abrahams head… What are my neighbors going to think? They are all for child sacrifice to their gods and I have always told them that child sacrifice is against God's law… now they will look to me as a two-faced man… What am I to tell Sarah? That I must kill our son because “the Lord said”? What if my mind is playing games with me?
“Abraham! I have spoken; do as I have commanded. If you truly love me you will follow my word.”
God promised that I would become the father of a great nation, the father of many people…He promised to give me a son and he did! ISAAC. Why does he want me to sacrifice my son? The son of promise?
God had promised that Abraham would have a son, even at his old age. He promised Sarah would have a son even at her old age. They had both doubted God, and tried to take matters into their own hands. But that turned into an ugly mess.
But God was faithful and Sarah got pregnant and bore Isaac.
In every event of Abraham’s life, God had been faithful…
But what about now?
Abraham, Isaac, and two young men took off i to the land of Moriah. The journey there was a long journey for Abraham. Each step he took got heavier as he realized that with each step he got closer to the moment when he would have to lift his knife and sacrifice his son, Isaac.
“I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you."
And so they headed off to the top of the mount, Isaac cheery and excited sang songs of praise to God. Meanwhile his father's face showed a mixture of disgust, insecurity, uneasiness, anxiousness… thoughts of what his wife, his family, his workers, his men, his servants, his friends, his neighbors would think of him once he came home without Isaac flocked his mind. He could not bear the look on Sarah’s face once he would tell her that he had sacrificed Isaac! She would die of the pain…
Suddenly, Isaac stopped. “Dad, we have the wood for the fire, and we have the fire… but dad where is the lamb?”
“Well son, God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”
They continued walking and then they finally came to the place where the sacrifice must take place. The time had come for Abraham to confront Isaac and tell him what God had told him to do. The next few moments were the most intense moments between a father and son, since the plan of redemption had been announced in heaven…
They prepared the altar and piled the wood on it.
“Isaac, I must tell you why we came all this way. God told me…that I… must… sacrifice you….”
Isaac stepped back in disbelief. Shocked, he looked at his father with a blank stare.
They both breathed slowly and heavily… a moment of silence ensued as they both looked at each other.
“So be it… do what you must do dad. If he told you to do it, then do it.”
As Isaac and Abraham embraced… tears of sadness, disbelief, and confusion flowed from both the father and son. They held on for what seemed like an eternity. Then the father walked over to the altar with his son by his side.
Isaac had yielded his will and submission to Abraham, and Abraham had yielded His will and submission to God.
There Isaac lay on the altar as he allowed Abraham to tie him and bind him to the altar. Tears continued to flow from the face of father and son as they shared their last moments together.
Hesitantly, Abraham grabbed the knife from his belt. He walked over to the altar, looked at Isaac and closed His eyes, saying “I love you, son.” Whispering a prayer to God he prepared to lunge forward and kill his son.
Suddenly in the midst of this hot desert day, in the heat of the moment a voice from heaven broke through the clouds.
That familiar voice once again spoke to Abraham.
“Here I am.”
“Do not lay your hand on your son or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, since you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”
"Thank you GOD…" Abraham whispered as the voice disappeared in the distance, and stillness permeated around them. Suddenly Abraham lifted his eyes and saw a ram stuck in the thicket by its horns.
Abraham embraced Isaac and hugged him, and kissed him. Isaac lay there motionless in disbelief… a moment of agony, grief, confusion, pain, and doubt turned into a moment of joy, praise, and love. Abraham and Isaac sat there together. Looking at the ram.
How a moment can change one so drastically!
Imagine the moment between father and son, both on earth and on heaven. Abraham and Isaac embraced and looked onto the burning sacrifice which was now ascending to heaven. God the Father and Jesus looked down unto the sacrifice in gratitude and love as they also embraced looking into the future when the Father would offer up His one and only son, Jesus, to die for all of humanity.
Abraham learned the lesson of true love and sacrifice. He now knew how the Father would feel when He would have to give up His son Jesus to die for all of mankind.
Abraham was now at peace that no matter what he went through or would go through God would always provide away. Abraham’s hope was built on solid ground. His faith was unwavering because God is faithful and He will always provide a way.
How deep the Fathers love for us, how vast beyond all measure. That He should give His only son, to make a wretch His treasure… What wondrous love.
Sebastian Lopez has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2010. He is currently enrolled in the MDiv. program at the Andrews University Theological Seminary.