Some very close friends of mine had been trying to adopt a child for years. It was a difficult time for them. There were many times that they would be one of the top two or three couples, only to find out they were not chosen. Eventually, they finally were chosen, and today they are proud parents of a beautiful little girl.
Now, lets put Abraham’s story into our modern context. Just like my friends, he and his wife Sarah, find out that they are unable to have children. Here is a man, that desires a child. And after waiting for years to become a Father (Abraham is 100 years old when Isaac is born!), God finally answers his prayers and blesses him and Sarah with a son. It would be similar to a couple today that are unable to have children, yet miraculously become pregnant.
And then God says to this couple, after so great a miracle… Ok, tie your son up, carry him up the mountain, and sacrifice him for me.
Here’s the point… we are supposed to be shocked. We are supposed to be feel bad for Abraham. We are supposed to think, “God how could you ask Abraham to do that for you”. Here is precisely where this story should mean everything to us. Because God, would, in fact, never ask us to do this. But he would do it for us…
Let me say that again… But Our Father in heaven would do it for us!
Here’s the thing… I think it is almost impossible to understand this story from Genesis without looking at through the lens of Christ.
The Parallel between the Heavenly Father and Abraham is striking!
Abraham offers his beloved Isaac a sacrifice
– Heavenly Father offers his only beloved son as a sacrifice
Isaac carries the wood he will be sacrificed on
– Jesus carries the wood of the cross!
Isaac is saved by a substitute Ram (caught by its horns in the thorns)
– Humanity is saved by Christ, who is the substitute and wears a crown of thorns
Place of sacrifice for Isaac is on Moriah
– King Solomon will build a temple on Mount Moriah, which is in Jerusalem
– Jesus is offered on Moriah; the mountain that the city of Jerusalem sits on.
You see my friends, just like Abraham, God loved his only began son, Jesus Christ. But he loves us too! And this is what Saint Paul says to us this weekend, If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
This is why Lent is so powerful. Because every week during Lent we call to mind those major moments in salvation history that show us how important we are to God. May we remember that we have a God who loves us more than we could ever imagine.
In Christ’s love and friendship,