Throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, God presented through his prophets and by ritual worship the coming of Messiah, the One who would crush the serpent’s head as promised in the Garden.  The sacrifice of an innocent animal, primarily, an unblemished lamb, would serve to portray the coming of the One proclaimed by John the Baptizer, as the Lamb of God.  One of the most vivid pictures of this is recorded for us in Genesis as Abraham is instructed to sacrifice his son of promise, Isaac.  Scripture does not indicate any emotional turmoil that Abraham may have experienced in response to God’s command.  That is left to Hollywood.  Actually, quite the opposite occurred, for a careful reading of the text indicates the unswerving faith of this patriarch.  The writer of Hebrews states … “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called." He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type” (Heb 11:17-19 NASB).   The details of this event are recorded for us in Scripture.  “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you" (Gen 22:3-5 NASB).  Note some key phrases: Abraham took two young men -- as witnesses; we will return – the necessity of a resurrection.  All that was needed for the sacrifice was present – the wood, the fire, the instrument of death and the sacrifice, the uniquely conceived son.  “And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"  And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son;" So the two of them walked on together” (Gen 22:7-8 NASB).  Note the confidence and serenity of soul that comes from placing complete trust in God’s Word.  “Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.  But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."  And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."  Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.  And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, [JEHOVAH JIREH], as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided" (Gen 22:9-14 NASB). Centuries late, John the Baptizer, preaching in the wilderness would identify the Lamb of God, Jesus, who takes away the sin of the world.  Nailed to the wood and raised from the dead, Jesus Christ would offer to anyone who believes in Him eternal life, the forgiveness of sins and an eternity in heaven with Him.  What a phenomenal offer accomplished by one sacrifice, one time, by one Person.

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