“Sacrifice”

This is the final sermon in ERC’s Lenten series, CO▽EN△NT, on God’s relationship with Abraham.

The sacrifice that God asks of Abraham is shocking. To give up his son, his only son, Isaac, would have been heartbreaking. And to give up the son of the promise, God’s chosen means to save the entire world, must have been faith-shaking.

Astoundingly, Abraham endures this painful test in faith. And God proves Himself faithful, trustworthy. God gives Abraham his son Isaac “back from death” (Hebrews 11:19). And again, the covenant between God and Abraham for the salvation of the world is renewed.

God’s faithfulness is seen here, on Mt. Moriah. God Himself, indeed, provided the lamb for the sacrifice (Genesis 22:8), as Abraham believed.

And God’s faithfulness, His reckless love, and His Father heart are all seen fully not far from this mount, on another hill called the Skull, thousands of years later, when again, truly God Himself provided the Lamb “who would take away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). God endured all the pain that He asked of Abraham, all the agony He spared Abraham from experiencing. In love, God gave His Son as the sacrifice that seals our covenant relationship with Him: Thanks be to God!

Therefore, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:2-3, NIV