Sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio
Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. Genesis 22:10
As we read this story in Genesis, it seems like time slows down. Each step as Abraham moves towards the slaying of Isaac feels like it happens in slow motion: they reach the place God told them about; Abraham builds an altar; he arranges the wood; he binds his son; he lays him on the altar… And then (big breath), he reaches out his hand (heart pounding) and takes the knife (hand shaking) to slay his son (“Whatever am I doing?”).
Abraham proves himself worthy of being the father of nations. He doesn’t grasp the promises of God too tightly, nor has he made the promises themselves into an idol. Therefore God is pleased to move forward with his covenant with his people.
Consider how this story, right at the beginning of our Bibles, reveals God the Father’s love for us. As we read the account of Abraham, we sense some of the pain and loss this earthly father must have felt. The Lord God on such a greater scale experienced the depth of this anguish when he sent his only Son to live on the earth and die on behalf of the people who often turn to their own ways.
May we honor our Father whose sacrificial love saves us from despair and the consequences of sin.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, your love never ends. Saving Son, thank you for your sacrifice. Convicting Spirit, we’re sorry for our sins. Amen.