Snapshots of the Cross in the Old Testament—the death of a son
The Father did not hesitate to spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all. Can we not trust such a God to give us, with Him, everything else that we can need? (Romans 8:32)
To understand this episode one must know one historical fact: “The request to sacrifice Isaac was 100% in keeping with all Abraham knew and believed about the gods of his culture. However, its conclusion turned those beliefs upside down and revealed a loving God.” Don’t move on until and unless you understand this cultural fact!
“God did for Sarah exactly what He had promised. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his 100th year” (Genesis 21:1-2). Think of the excruciating anguish of a young couple today that desperately wants children but all efforts have failed. Well, Abraham and Sarah went through an entire marriage of barrenness (viewed as a curse in ancient cultures). So, it’s impossible to exaggerate the ecstatic delight that the birth of Isaac brought to the old couple!
Sometime later (Isaac carried the wood so he was a young lad) God said, “Take your only son, Isaac, whom you love deeply, and offer him to Me as a burnt offering on one of the mountains.” Astonishingly, Abraham obeyed immediately! “When they arrived Abraham built an altar and laid out the wood. He tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. He reached out and took the knife to kill his son.”
Suddenly the austere silence was broken. “Abraham! Don’t lay a hand on that boy! You didn’t hesitate to place your only son, your dear son, on the altar for Me.” Abraham looked up in the direction of the Voice and spotted an entangled ram. After retrieving the ram, he “sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.”
FATHER ABRAHAM SPARED THE LIFE OF HIS DEEPLY LOVED, ONLY SON!
It’s centuries later—
“The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters a Voice declared: “This is My Son, marked by My love, the delight of My life.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
“Jesus knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, remove this cup from Me. But please, not what I want.’” (Matthew 26:39)
“Carrying His cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill, where they crucified Him.” (John 19:17)
“Around mid-afternoon Jesus groaned, crying loudly ‘My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?’” (Matthew 27:46)
“Jesus said, ‘It’s done . . . complete.’” (John 19:30)
GOD THE FATHER DID NOT SPARE THE LIFE OF HIS DEEPLY LOVED, ONLY SON!