Living Our Faith

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him." Romans 12:1

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Advent 3

Posted by on in Advent 2015
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Read Genesis 22:1-19

How do we find hope in something so cruel, so sickening? How do we find hope in this situation that makes us ask more questions of God than anything else? How could God ask such a thing? How could God make a promise to Abraham that he would have a son, Isaac, only to rip him from his hands?

These are legitimate questions. But perhaps the most startling part of this story is those questions aren't asked. Abraham doesn't stop and ask God a list of questions, or even say that it's unfair. Abraham does what God asks. God says, "Take your son and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on the mountain I will show you." And the next words are: "Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey." Really?

Isaac is the only one who asks a question, asking the obvious: "The fire and wood are here ... but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

"God himself will provide the lamb," Abraham says.

As Abraham obeys that is exactly what God does. It was important for Abraham that he was fully obedient to God. He was called to be the father of a great nation through whom all the nations would be blessed, and so this test was important to see if Abraham truly trusted God. When Abraham lifted the knife to kill Isaac, his only son whom he loved, out of obedience to God an angel called out to him, "Abraham! Abraham! Don't lay a hand on the boy." (I can only imagine Abraham's relief!) And there, stuck in the thicket, Abraham saw a ram and he sacrificed it to God.

God didn't require Abraham to sacrifice his only son. That sacrifice would be God's to make. For this dark event foreshadows the sacrifice that God made by sending Jesus, His only Son, and by sending Him to the cross to pay for our sins. 

It was as Abraham said. "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering." And He did.

And because of that, we have hope.


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