The Perfect Sacrifice

Background Story: God called a man named Abram from the comfort of his home to a new land. God gave him a new name, Abraham meaning the “Father of Many Nations” even though Abraham was not a dad. After many years, God gives Abraham a son named Isaac.

Read Genesis 22:1-18

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Big Idea: Jesus became the perfect lamb to take away the sins of the world.

Abraham was 75 years old when God promised him a son but Isaac was not born until Abraham was 100. After all of that waiting, God asked Abraham to do the unthinkable and sacrifice his promised son. In obedience, Abraham took his son, the wood, and the knife and climbed up Mount Moriah. When Isaac asked his dad where the sacrificial lamb was, Abraham stated, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.” Abraham prepared to offer his son to God on the altar, but God stopped him and provided a ram to take Isaac’s place.

Around 950 years later, King David built the temple for God in the exact same location as Issacs’s sacrifice on Mount Moriah. At the temple, the Jewish people brought their sacrificial lambs every year to be offered in place of their sin. A person would bring a lamb without spot or defect to the temple and the priest would place his hand on the head of the lamb transferring the person’s sin to the sacrifice. (Leviticus 4) The lamb would take their place on the altar so that the people could have forgiveness of sin and be temporarily right with God.

490 years later, John the Baptist looked up and saw Jesus approaching and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Carrying His cross up Golgotha near Mount Moriah, Jesus came without sin and became the perfect lamb offering Himself as an atonement (or satisfaction) for our sin. Like the lamb on the altar, God’s own Son took our place as the perfect sin offering so that we could be forgiven and made right with God.

Romans 3:22-25 “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.”

God has been writing the story of redemption since mankind first sinned in the garden. There is no sin too great nor life too damaged that Jesus cannot redeem. Abraham was correct when he looked at his son Isaac and said, “God himself will provide a lamb.” The perfect lamb has come…and His name is Jesus!

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