A Devotion for 10 March 2021 Anno Domini (In the Year of Our Lord), the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. Gen 22:3-14 (KJV)
Some are tempted to read this passage merely as one of Old Testament historical interest; however, this passage has profound meaning and implication for the salvation of our souls – “Where is the Lamb for the burnt offering?” Let’s examine Isaac’s question in detail but, first, let us make clear what the inspired text says about Abraham’s response as compared with the spurious modern translations – “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” The faulty ESV reads: “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” Gen 22:8 (ESV) Notice the sly deception by the addition of the preposition ‘for’. God needs no sacrifice FOR Himself – it is WE who need the sacrifice. Moreover, God will provide Himself to be the Lamb – not simply provide a sacrificial lamb as used in the Temple (the Lamb will be God’s only Begotten Son). Diagram the two sentences out to determine the relationship between God and the Lamb.
WHY DID ISAAC ASK THIS QUESTION?
There is no sacrifice for sins without the shedding of innocent blood. Abel knew this, and Cain rejected it. Consider: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (KJV) This includes every man, woman and child born upon this earth from Adam’s Fall. I presume that the reader is included in that mix. So what if we have all sinned? Is that a matter of concern? “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (KJV) I believe life or death matters are reason for concern! “ . . . . without shedding of blood is no remission. Heb 9:22” (KJV)
Isaac understood that the purpose of a sacrifice was for the remission of sins, and the two were at the base of Mt. Moriah for the purpose of making a sacrifice. There were the fire and wood for the offering, but where was the lamb for the offering? It was the intention of Abraham to sacrifice his only begotten son according to the command of God. But Isaac could not suffice as a lamb without blemish any more than you or I could have done. By the way, Ishmael was not the son God had promised Abraham and Sarah. He was the child of a woman not the wife of Abraham. The promised son must come according to the promise of God to both Abraham and Sarah.
We need a worthy sacrifice for the covering of our sin – this Isaac knew. There could only be One such worthy sacrifice of total innocence for our sin – the only Begotten Son of God. Without that sacrifice, we remain in our sin. God would never require the blood of any man’s child as a sacrificial covering for sin.
WHAT WAS THE ANSWER TO ISAAC’S QUESTION?
“God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” God will provide Himself (the Lord Jesus Christ and Lamb of God) to be the Lamb for the Sacrifice. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Rev 13:8 (KJV) We have no sacrifice to offer in covering our sins – that is the sole mercy and grace of God to provide, and what a stupendous price did our Lord God make in the provision thereof!
If we have no sacrifice to offer, which we do not have, then we must accept the sacrifice offered by God which is the ONLY worthy sacrifice. “12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb 9:12-14 (KJV)
WHAT VALUE IS THE LAMB TO THOSE WHO ARE CHOSEN AND CALLED TO FOLLOW?
- We have no offering to cover our sins. But our sins must be remitted by a worthy – the ONLY worthy – Sacrifice
- Just as did Abraham and Isaac, we must trust in the provision of that worthy Sacrifice offered by God the Father. This is not a ‘recurring’ sacrifice as the Romans love to allege, but a once-and-for-all-time sacrifice. “24For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Heb 9:24-28 (KJV)
- It is owing to God’s love and grace that such a valuable sacrifice has been offered on our behalf: “16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:15-18 (KJV) If your book does not name Him the ‘only Begotten Son of God’ throw it away and get a real Bible. “11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Heb 2:11-13 (KJV)
Just as Christ is the Begotten of the Father, so are those who are the Children of God by means of adoption through the grace and mercy of God. Being a son or daughter of God means that we are made in His image to act and think as our Father acts and thinks. Our Lord Jesus Christ if our Redeemer, Savior, Lord, Father, and King. If we are sons and daughters of such a high calling. Should we not quit ourselves as men and women who have a station to cherish and a Name to defend?
The question of the young lad, Isaac, was profound and asked in innocence. God provided a sacrifice, even that same day, that foreshadowed the coming Lamb which would be the culmination of all the Law and Prophets concerning that Lamb. “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” Gen 22:13 (KJV) That ram foretold the very Son of God who died on the cross wearing a crown of thorns from that thicket. How joyful must Abraham have been to see that ram provided in lieu of his son! “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56 (KJV)