Clearing a Hurdle to Easter

by | Mar 22, 2024 | Apologetics | 0 comments

The sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, recorded in Genesis 22:1-19, has been on of those texts that has drawn serious objection to biblical Christian faith.

Consider a few insights that can help those who are genuinely seeking the Lord to see the truth of what actually happened.

(1) This account is a test of Abraham’s heart. Does he love God with his entire being or will he put something of the created order, even his only son Isaac, before the Creator? Abraham passes the test because he knows God, that God is truly good, that God keeps his promises (Genesis 22:12, Hebrews 11:8-13, 17-19), and so he refuses to idolize any earthly thing, even his only son. Thus, the Lord both spares Isaac and also swears he will surely fulfill his promises to Abraham, which promises flood over in benefit on to the nations (Genesis 22:18).

But still, how can such an extreme test be justified? Simply because we live in what theologians call a “fallen world.” We are all born into a world that, without warrant, has set itself against God by setting the creature over the Creator (Romans 1:21-23). Hence, we all need to be tested so we can see where our hearts are actually at, so that we might fully surrender ourselves to the Lord Jesus.

Abraham’s unquestionable obedience of faith also reveals the genuineness of his heart and character. Nehemiah 9:5-8 highlights this when it says God found Abraham’s heart faithful to him and for this reason vowed to fulfill all his promises to him.

(2) The account of Genesis 22:1-19 is a critical gospel-allegory. The bottomline is that no matter how good Abraham tried to be, no matter how good Isaac tried to be, no matter how much they believed the word of the Lord, they could never be good enough for they were in very nature sinners in need of a substitutionary atonement. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). There would have been no way forward for them, or for anyone, without an acceptable sacrifice for sin. This symbolic sacrifice the Lord provided for Isaac and Abraham through a ram (Genesis 22:13).

Genesis 22:1-19 is teaching us that, either we suffer eternally for our sins or a substitute is provided for us. The ram the Lord provided on the mountain that day for Isaac and Abraham was a small picture of and glimpse into what God planned from the foundations of the earth, the once for all sacrifice of his only Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

Therefore, in light of these two major insights, objections to this account of Abraham and Isaac lose their force, and those who’s souls are quickened and hearts opened know they can utterly trust Jesus, and hope in him above all.

May this help you move forward in the true meaning of Easter (John 1:29).

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