Where is the Lamb?


Genesis 22:7 records a very poignant question that Isaac, the son, asks of his father Abraham. Isaac, noticed that the fire and the wood was there for the burnt offering, but the lamb wasn’t. Abraham’s response to Isaac, was a expression of his trust and reliance on God, for even though he knew that he was to sacrifice his son (as the lamb), believing that God could raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:19), he faltered not in believing in the providing nature of God.

Points to ponder:
Fast forward a couple of thousand years to the time of Jesus’ time on earth and his crucifixion and you will find the answer to the question posed by Isaac. John the Baptist identified Jesus Christ to be the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) and on the Cross on Golgotha (Calvary), you find Jesus as the lamb offered to take away the sins of the world (Isaiah 53:7-10). Jesus is the Lamb that God provided (as the perfect sacrifice) to redeem mankind, making his soul an offering for our sins. Behold Jesus, the Agnus Dei – the Lamb of God, provided for you and me.

For those interested to know more about the significance of the burnt offering, you can check out a previously written Hidden Treasures article at >http://wp.me/p4Ui4-2F

Genesis 22:7-8 (KJV)
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

John 1:29 (KJV)
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Isaiah 53:7-10 (KJV)
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

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Laid the wood upon his son


Genesis 22:6 reads “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.” This text informs us that Isaac’s father, Abraham, laid the wood of the burnt offering on his son. Now I can only speculate as to whether Isaac carried the wood on his head, or on his shoulders, or on his back, which is inconsequential. What is however of utmost importance is to recognize that Isaac carried the very wood on which he was to be sacrificed.

Points to ponder: 
John 19:17 indicates that Jesus carried his own Cross to be offered as the perfect sacrifice. Isaiah 53:10 indicates that it pleased the Lord God (the Father) to make Jesus the offering for sin. Putting these two verses together, we can deduce that God the Father himself laid on Jesus the Cross (wooden beams) so that he would carry the Cross to his own offering – the perfect offering. Just as Abraham laid the wood on his son Isaac, God the Father, laid on Jesus the Cross to bear it for us. Jesus carried the Cross for you and me – and for that I am thankful. Are you?

Genesis 22:6 (KJV)
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

John 19:16-18 (KJV)
16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

Isaiah 53:10 (KJV)
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

The notion and reality of resurrection


Yearly we celebrate Easter in memory and celebration of Jesus’ victory over death, but the plan of God’s power and control over death is not one that is evident only after the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In fact, the very notion of resurrection can be traced back to the very beginning of time – to the time of Abraham. When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham believed God and was willing to sacrifice his son, because he knew that God would be able to resurrect his son from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). We are made clear that Abraham had the notion of resurrection i.e., the power of God to raise from the dead, even before he set out to the place where he was going to sacrifice Isaac, for he said to the young men who traveled with him – wait here, while me and the lad (Isaac) go yonder to worship, and note how he does not say – “I” will go back to you, but instead he says “we” will come back to you. If Isaac was to be sacrificed and Abraham did not believe in God, he would not have seen the glimpse of God’s power over death.

Points to ponder:
God stops Abraham from sacrificing his son, which made resurrection a notion for Abraham, despite his tremendous faith and belief in God. God however, did not stop himself from sacrificing his only begotten Son, Jesus, for the sake of the world, and after three days, God raised him up from the dead, making resurrection no longer just a notion, but a reality. And Jesus said, that he is indeed the Resurrection and the Life, and if anyone believes in him, though s/he was dead, yet shall s/he live – that is life eternal. Resurrection from our spiritual death hinges upon our believing in Jesus Christ and that is not a mere notion, but a reality. Do you believe?

Genesis 22:5 (KJV)
And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

Hebrews 11:17-19 (KJV)
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Worship means …


Generally in many churches and Christian get togethers, we see a time set aside for praise and worship and sometimes it ends up becoming an act of singing songs, raising hands, clapping and dancing (for some). While there is nothing wrong with the outward expression of our emotions in such setting, we ought to be careful to not get caught up in the deception that worship is about outward expressions or actions.

Genesis 22:5 gives the account of what Abraham told the young men (possibly servants) who accompanied him and Isaac, as he went to sacrifice his son, as God had commanded him to. It reads “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

Though this text may seem as a mere conversation, the gravity of what was being expressed is in essence extremely profound. Abraham was verbalizing his faith and acting on it, but instead he refers to it as “worship.” In fact, this is the first time the very word “worship” is mentioned in the Bible and it is used in conjunction with not only faith but accompanying action. Worship is an outward action of our inward faith – it is from within – where we worship God in our Spirit.

Points to ponder: 
From this account, not only can we learn that true worship is about God and not us or anything we do or express. Worship is obeying God and doing what he commands us to do. Expressing our faith not merely in words but in action, by obeying God’s commandments, is worship. Obedience indeed is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22) – which is a gesture of worship (Romans 12:2). Are you and I true worshippers – worshipping God from within – in our Spirit?

Genesis 22:5 (KJV)
And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

Faith requires patience


In the test of Abraham’s faith, God had asked Abraham to go to a place that God was going to show him and sacrifice his only son, Isaac, the son whom he loved. Genesis 22:4 records that it took Abraham three days to reach the place where he was asked to go.

Three days is considerably a long journey considering the fact that at the end of that journey, he would need to sacrifice his son, Isaac and as a Father, I wondered as to all the possible excuses that Abraham could have come up with, to just turn back and not do as he was tested to. Yet, with faith, believing God, he trekked along until he came to the place where he was to offer God his sacrifice.

Points to ponder:
Faith requires patience. The test of faith in our lives may have us wait patiently on the Lord, believing in him – and, what is important is that, irrespective of the duration of time (be it a day or three days or more), we ought to remain focused and faithful to God, so that we don’t fail these tests.

Are you and I, focused and faithful, staying on the course even if the end result may not seem to be what we’d like and even if the wait may seem like it is a long time. Do you have patience? for faith requires patience.

Genesis 22:4 (KJV)
Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

Wood for the burnt Offering


Genesis 22:3 reads “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.” In this account, what would seem as a trivial piece of detail has a profound treasure hidden in it. It is about Abraham, the Father of Isaac, claving (chopping) the wood on which his son Isaac would be laid to be presented as a burnt offering to the Lord. Why is “wood for the burnt offering” important?

I will defer the coverage of the significance of the burnt offering when we get to the Levitical offerings, but for now, let us look at the significance of the “wood for the offering”. Rewind to the time, when Jesus walked the earth as a man. One of the journeys he took to fulfill his mission of reconciling God with man, was the via dolorosa or the way of suffering, when he walked carrying the wooden beams, claved from some tree to the place called Golgotha or Calvary. There he willingly offered himself as a sacrifice to God the Father, for man, which God accepted.

Points to ponder:
Jesus was laid on top the wooden Cross, his hands and legs nailed to the cross, and that was lifted up, for you and me. The Lord himself has prepared The Sacrifice (Zephaniah 1:7). The wooden Cross (tree) was one that God himself had claved for the salvation of mankind (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Genesis 22:3 (KJV)
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Hesitating or Hastening to obey


Genesis 22:3 records that when God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his only son, whom he loved, Abraham rose up early in the morning and made the necessary preparations, taking his son to go to the place where God had told him to, to offer Isaac his son as a burnt offering. While this may seems so unbelievable to many, what makes this even more difficult to comprehend is that this account describes that Abraham rose up early in the morning to obey. We can only imagine if Abraham slept through the night or if he had a sleepless night, but if he had to rise up early, it is more likely that he did sleep that night. This could only mean that Abraham trusted God with even his son’s life.

Abraham did not hesitate to obey God but instead hastened (rose up early) to obey God.

Points to Ponder:
The timeliness of obedience is important. When God’s wants us to obey him, even if it means that we ought to sacrifice something, or someone, we love dearly, Are we hesitating or hastening to obey God? Like Abraham, let us rise up early to do what God commands us to do, believing and trusting in God.

Genesis 22:3 (KJV)
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.