30 May 2021

The Ultimate Sacrifice [Genesis 22]


Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac is a familiar story of the Bible. We see the 1. Test. God tested Abraham so that his faith and fear of God can be demonstrated. It was a most difficult test. Isaac was extremely precious and dear to Abraham. It would probably be easier for Abraham to die himself than for him to offer his own son. Is God calling you to sacrifice your "Isaac" too? Is God testing your faith as well? How will you respond?  2. Trust. Abraham's faith in God resulted in obedience without delay, debate, or deviation. Whatever God told Abraham to do, he did it immediately to the best of his ability, even if he didn't know why or how God's promise "in your seed shall all nations be blessed" will be fulfilled then. Real faith in God is seen in our obedience. Christianity is not about empty talk, but an obedient walk. 3. Testimonies. God never wanted to take Isaac's life here, but He wanted to show Abraham's heart. Abraham's faith and fear of God are clearly evidenced and witnessed. Abraham bore testimony to the faithfulness of God that He will provide. And God bears testimony to Himself that He will certainly bless through the promised seed. There is therefore great hope for us in the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Sermon Transcript

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Once again, thank you for joining us, especially for those who are new with us, we appreciate your participation in this day's worship service. And we pray that the preaching of God's Word will be a blessing to you.

Now, as a church we have been journeying through the book of Genesis and we arrive today at Genesis, chapter 22. It's really a story that is very, very familiar to Christians. I would dare say to even our children in children's ministry, everybody must have heard about how Abraham is called of God to offer his son, Isaac.

Without much ado, I like to plunge right into this sermon, which I've entitled - "The Ultimate Sacrifice".

[1]The Test.
The first thing I like us to notice in this story is that, this is a test. Now, a test is what you have to put someone through in order to draw out what is within, isn't it? We all go through tests.

Your children will go through tests and examinations and PSLE. The reason why we have to put them through tests is because otherwise, we would never really know if they understood the subjects that they are learning.

In other words, we put people through tests to draw out what is within, and it is the same here. Now, God puts Abraham through a test, not because God doesn't know what's in Abraham. God is omniscient, He knows all things. But God puts Abraham through a test, so that what is within him that is only known by God would be surfaced, would be brought out. So that, we all who can't read his heart can know what is in his heart.

So this test is meant to reveal the heart of Abraham - his faith or lack of faith; his fear of God or lack of fear of God. We would see all that in this story. But this is a test because the Bible tells us, "After these things, God tested Abraham." [Gen 22:1]

Now, to be able to really draw out all that is within him, a test has to be challenging enough. For ... for your school to be able to surface all that is in your son's learning, it's got to send the son, a challenging enough test. And so we see in this story a very, very challenging and difficult test.

Now, if you want to test the obedience of your children, you probably shouldn't say to them, "Son, go get an ice cream and eat." That is not a test! That is too easy! He will do that even if you do not ask him to. But if you want to test his obedience, get him to do something that costs him something. Get him to do something that is painful and difficult, then you would know whether your son really obeys you or not.

So, we're going to see a very difficult test. God is going to say to him, "Abraham, take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering." [Gen 22:2]

Every phrase there must feel like a knife in Abraham ... Abraham's heart. It is absolutely painful! "Take your son ..."
It's not someone else's children, it's not a stranger, it's not the son of his servant Eliezer of Damascus, it's his own son.

"Take your son ... and not only that, Abraham, take your only son. The only son you have with Sarah, the only son of promise, the son that I've said, "I will give to you." But take this one son, not Ishmael, who has left, but Isaac. Take this son, whom you have waited for 25 years before, Sarah would have him. This son, whom you had when you were 100 years old. This son, whom I said, "Through him, through this offspring, in this offspring shall all nations be blessed." Take this exact son Isaac, whom you love. O, this is the son you love! "'

Scholars tell us that Isaac, at this point of time is at least a teenager, If not 20 plus year old, or even 30 years old. The point is this, this is not someone who is just born, that Abraham has had no opportunity to develop a relationship with. This is someone who has been raised up for decades, probably. In other words, I can imagine Abraham and Isaac, having built up a strong bond already.

And God says to Abraham, "This is the one you have to slit his throat, like you do with a goat or a lamb. Let that blood flow, let him die and then offer him up as a burnt offering. Burn him up." That is absolutely brutal!

I am a selfish man. I really am! I'm a self-centered; self- oriented person. I think a lot about myself, but when I became a father, I ... I ... I learned more about what it means to love others. I learned what it means to be willing to sacrifice for others. I have two boys, Shawn and Matthias, many of you know that. And I really don't think there's anything I wouldn't be willing to do if it helps them.

You know, as ... as a funny person, maybe you are funny like me, I sometimes think about horror situations, like terrible things that may befall my children. Maybe they will get sick, maybe they may get bang by a car. There would be these kinds of scenarios that I would think about some times, and I would often say to myself, "If it was up to me, I would take that sickness, I would take that knock happily, willingly. No questions asked! I'll be willing to lay down my life for them."

In other words, I think this test is way harder than if God would just say to Abraham, "Abraham, deliver yourself to be the burnt offering." But no, God gives a test that is absolutely, where it is most painful, "Take your only son Isaac, slit his throat. Kill him, and burn him up."

You will notice that actually God never told Abraham why. I mean the first thing Abraham must have ... must have thought of is, "Are you sure? But why? I don't see how this works. God, You said, "That in Isaac, will all the nations be blessed, but why would you want me to kill him now? Why?"

God never told him why. And God never gave him any warning, it's like a lightning bolt out of the blue. And God never told Abraham how he would explain all this to Sarah. I mean can you imagine, if Abraham is to kill Isaac, how is he going to face his wife? But all these questions are left unanswered. All we know is that this is an extremely severe test. You wish ... Abraham would wish, "It is something else?" But no, it is exactly what it is - your son Isaac has to be a burnt offering!

[2] The Trust
Second thing we notice in this text is then - the trust. Now, I can imagine myself, if I was told by God to offer up Shawn or to offer up Matthias, I would say, "God, I report sick tomorrow. Can I take an MC, huh?" Basically, I'll say, "Can I drag this out? Can I postpone this? Let ... let me drink this in. Let me absorb this. Let me digest this. I ... I can't really get to it immediately. I hope you understand, God."

But you know I don't read of Abraham debating at all, and I don't read of Abraham delaying at all. Because in verse 3, we are told, "Abraham rose early in the morning." Why would you rise early in the morning? "Stay in bed as long as you can, spend as much time with your son," I would have thought. But Abraham obeyed right away.

"He rose early in the morning." [Gen 22:3] You wake up early in the morning when there's something exciting facing you, but not ... not this. Yet, Abraham understood what obedience is all about - no debate, no delay. He got all the stuff ready, "He saddled his donkey, he got his young men with him. He got Isaac. He got the wood and he went to the place of which God had told him." [Gen 22:3]

And the Bible tells us, "On the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar." [Gen 22:4] Scholars tell us that this is a reasonable amount of time that will be needed to travel from where Abraham was. And in other words, these days of traveling were absolutely straight on. Abraham didn't go gallivanting. Abraham did not try to detour. Abraham did not deviate from the course. He went right to where God wanted him to be.

And I learned what obedience is all about from Abraham. He trusted God and obeyed God exactly where God wants him to be.

Let me tell you again a lot ... about my son, Matthias. He's ... he's a young boy who really loves TV. He will wake up early in the morning, when everybody is still asleep and he will sneak out and watch his TV. He loves television and he is such a dominating character. And he's so passionate about his TV that he would always be the one holding the remote control. It's very hard to take the remote control away from him.

Even if he goes to my dad's place or someone else's place, somehow he is able to negotiate and manipulate his way to be the one controlling that remote control because he would toggle between channels and search for what he wants to watch. He loves his TV.

But you know, when I say, "Matthias, switch off the TV." He would immediately say, "Yes, daddy," turn it off, and give me the remote. Nah, of course that wouldn't happen! He never does that in a sense! He would be pretending he never hear. "Matthias, switch off the TV." No change, still watching. "Matthias ..." with a louder volume now, "... turn off your TV." Then he will start to frantically toggle through the channels. It will be a few seconds more, 10 seconds more, 15 seconds more. I'll have to say again, "Matthias, switch off the TV," before he will be willing to switch it off and hand me the remote.

Matthias, if you're listening, let me tell you this, "That is not obedience, because real obedience is to obey right away." Obedience is no debate, no delay, no deviation. That's what Abraham exemplified! He trusted God enough, even though he has not figured out why. He can't understand why, he doesn't see how this would fit into the overall picture, but he obeyed God right away. This is obedience. He trusted God. He feared God.

Then, we read in verse 5, "Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you."' First time we read of the word, 'worship' in the Bible. And what a scenario this is to present your son as a sacrifice to God.

But it's interesting here that Abraham told his servants not to go, "This is where you stop. This is an intimate moment between my son, myself and my God." Or maybe perhaps Abraham told them to stop there because he knew that if they were to be there and see him want to kill Isaac, they might have stopped him. So whatever the reasons were, Abraham said, "This is where you stop, Isaac and myself would go and worship." [Gen 22:5]

"So he took the burnt offering, the wood of the burnt offering, put it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. And they went both of them together." [Gen 22:6] "And then Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" "Here am I, here I am, my son." "Dad, we have the fire, we have the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" [Gen 22:7] "I've seen you do this before, it's always with a lamb, but here in this mountain is just you me, where is the lamb?" And this is where Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." [Gen 22:8]

Now, let me admit this, this is rather cryptic to me, this is rather mysterious to me, this is rather difficult for me. What exactly is Abraham saying with this sentence? Is Abraham saying, "Don't worry Isaac, God will bring a substitute for you. God will provide a lamb, it will not be you, it will be something else." I do not know, maybe that's the case.

But you will be finding it hard to explain why Isaac later on, would be willingly bound by Abraham and be laid on the wood. Or could it be that Abraham is now explaining to Isaac, "You will be the lamb. You will be the sacrifice." I ... I do not know, it's hard to figure!

But I do know this is what Abraham had in mind, Hebrews 11, verse 19 tells us the inner thoughts, the inner workings of Abraham's mind, "Abraham considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead." So I know Abraham was willing to go all the way. Abraham was willing and ready to kill Isaac, because he figured that after Isaac is killed, God can and will raise Isaac up.

So it is very likely that Abraham is not thinking that God will bring forth a substitute right away, but that God would indeed have Abraham kill his son Isaac.

Nevertheless, this is Abraham's rather cryptic; mysterious reply. We can't really know for sure, but both of them went together. "And when they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar, laid the wood and bound Isaac, his son." [Gen 22:9]

I say, "This is really difficult if Isaac didn't know that he will be the one who will be sacrificed, and willingly submit himself to be that sacrifice." Because like I said, "Isaac is not a young boy, he's a teenager. Maybe 20 plus year old 30 plus. He is in the prime of his life. He is probably strong and, if I may say, "Stronger than Abraham." And it would be I think utterly impossible for Abraham to just bind Isaac up like that."'

So it is very likely that Isaac knew that he would be the sacrifice and that he was willing himself to obey God. He's a man of faith, as well. What an amazing story this is!

"So Abraham now reached out his hand, took the knife to slaughter the son." [Gen 22:10] He raised it up into the air and was about to plunge it into Isaac, "When the angel of the LORD, [probably the second person of the Trinity, Jesus, as we have explained in time past,] called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." [Gen 22:11] "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him." [Gen 22:12a]

Well, this really shows us what real faith is about, isn't it? Real faith enables Abraham to obey, willing to obey even if it makes no sense, even when it's extremely difficult. And he obeyed without delay, without debate, without deviation. He really feared God and trusted God.

[3] The Testimonies
Now finally, I'd like to share with you - the testimonies. The statements that are made of the characters that are reflected here.

The first is a testimony of God, about Abraham. "Do not lay your hand on the boy, or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God." [Gen 22:12] Now again, I want to emphasize this is not because God didn't know about Abraham's faith and now He finally catches up on Abraham's faith. No! I think this is a manner of speech, that says, "Now, we will all know, all humanity will know, everyone who reads this story will know that you fear God."

So God is giving a testimony about Abraham, that he's a man who fears God. God never wanted Isaac's life. All God wanted was Abraham's heart. And specifically, he wanted Abraham's heart to be manifested; to be surfaced by this test. So God has a testimony of Abraham - He is a man who fears God proven via this PSLE test.

A second testimony is what Abraham gave of God. The Bible tells us, "Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, [after God told him to stop.] and behold, look at this, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son." [Gen 22:13] And Abraham said this, "He called the name of that place, the LORD will provide." [Gen 22:14]

In some of your Bibles, it may be the LORD Jehovah Jireh, which means God will see to; or God will see to it and provide. So, "The Lord will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided." [Gen 22:14]

So Abraham now had a testimony of God - that God is a God who is faithful, God who sees and God who provides. He could have called this place 'Mount Agony' or 'Mount Trial' or 'Mount Obedience'. But no, he chose to remember God and His character!

You know one thing about going through trials is that when you emerge from it, you learn more about God. You are thankful for who He is. And that's the case here for Abraham, He was put through a very trying test and when he comes out of it, he gives thanks to God for His provisions. He learned about God better this way.

And then finally, there's a testimony of God about Himself. We see in verse 15 to verse 18, "And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, "By myself I have sworn."

So the angel of the LORD here is a person of the Godhead. Again like I said, "We believe He's Lord Jesus Christ." But here, He says, "By myself, I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring."

In other words, God is here repeating and reaffirming His original covenant with Abraham. Now, God is here, pledging Himself by swearing. There are some people who mistakenly think that swearing is sinful. No, actually when you make an oath, when you make a promise or when you swear, it is not sinful. God Himself does it!

But this is a very unique situation where God has to swear. Now why does God have to swear? It's actually listed for us in Hebrews. The author of Hebrews remembers this story in Genesis 22, and he says, "When God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself." [Heb 6:13]

Generally, when you swear you say, "I swear by Heaven or I swear by someone great or I swear by someone, something more important than me." Because you are calling on a higher authority to vouch for you.

But here, the author of Hebrews is saying, "The reason why God swears by Himself is because there is no one greater than God. God is calling on Himself, His own Name to pledge and to vouch for Himself." "So He swore by Himself saying, "Surely I will bless you." [Heb 6:14] "I want you to know, very, very assuredly that My promise to you must be and will be done."

And again, Hebrews 6 tells us, "For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, [God's promise and God's oath] in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast, or hold tight to the hope set before us." [Heb 6:16-18]

What a ... what a passage! You see the book of Hebrews is written to people who are struggling, people who are suffering, people who are being tried severely. And they are very tempted to give up on the faith, but the author is saying, "Why do you want to give up? God is so faithful, God is so sure that if He promises that in Jesus, in this special Offspring shall all nations be blessed, you will be blessed if you keep on believing."

In other words, the only reason why you and I can pull through trials and endure trials, is because we know for sure, because God has promised that He will bless us, and that's why we can endure. We hold fast to the promise of God's blessing in Jesus Christ.

And that's what God wants for you and I perhaps this morning. You are going through hard times, it's difficult, and you're tempted to give it all up. You say, "I don't ... I don't really want to believe anymore." I say, "Please don't think like that, because God is faithful."

Yes, I know you're having a difficult marriage. Yes, I know you're going through difficult therapy for your sickness. Yes, I know you have mental struggles in your head, but remember this - God has sworn, He must bless those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ."

Yes, it's COVID. Yes, it's difficult. Yes, the economy is not doing that great. Maybe your business is failing, maybe you're losing your savings, but God is still faithful who promised. Now, God said all that He said on Mount Moriah or in that Mount, in the region of Moriah, so that we today who read this story might not give up on our faith, but to keep enduring.

So let me conclude by drawing these applications for you and for me.

Is God today putting you through a test?
Is God calling you today to offer up an Isaac of your life?

Someone or something that is really precious to you. It might be your career? Maybe God is saying, 'Give it up." I'm not telling Gospelighters to be irresponsible in our ... irresponsible in our jobs and, and to give up the work that He has provided for us. No! But maybe some of you would understand what I mean, maybe you have sense for some time that God wants you to give up a life ambition, a project, a career. Maybe to give up some comforts and pleasures that are so important to you. And it is difficult, you wish it's something else!

But it is exactly at this point that you know God wants you to give it all up, out of the blue, for no apparent reason. He says, "This is the relationship, this is the career, this is the ambition that I want you to sacrifice to Me." It's painful but maybe that's what God is testing you in, He's calling you to do.

Would you obey? That's something for you to think about this morning. You see, it's always easy to give up something, when we can understand why. But not everything can be explained to us and will be explained to us.

"It is the easiest thing ..." a theologian once said, "In the world to obey God when He commands us to do what we like, and to trust Him when the path is all sunshine. The real victory of faith is to trust God in the dark, and through the dark." [Theodore L. Cuyler]

Like I said, "It's easy for a child to obey the parents when it is about eating ice cream, but give it something difficult and it is an entirely different story altogether."

Is God putting you through a test, which you don't quite understand?

And then let's look at the trust - the trust of Abraham. Remarkable! The trust of Abraham is not when he says he believes; the trust of Abraham is evidenced when he was offering up Isaac.

Faith is not evidenced by empty talk, faith is evidenced by an obedient walk. Real faith is not all talk, real faith is about your walk. Real actions.

Now, I want you to notice, that the Bible makes mention of this in James. James says, "Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?" [James 2:20] James is really criticizing and rebuking, a kind of people in the church who has a lot of talk, but they have no walk. They are the kind of people who say, "Oh, may God be with you," to a poor, destitute brother, but will never give anything to that brother in need.

James is saying, "This kind of people with this kind of faith is useless. This faith without any works is useless faith." In other words is empty faith, it is false faith, it is fake! Because real faith is not just talk, it's walk. Real faith is seen, like that of Abraham. "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar." [James 2:21]

Isn't it true that we understand that our father Abraham is a man of faith when he obeyed God right away, without delay, without debate, without deviation? Isn't that how we know of Abraham's faith?

Now, I want you to know that when James says, "Justified by works," it is not justified before God, alright? God already had justified Abraham earlier on. But this justification in the context of James, chapter 2, is justification before men. How can I know if you have faith? "Show me your faith with your works," that's what James is saying. So this justification is that proof before men.

So my question to you is - Do you have the walk to back up your talk? Because if it's only talk and no walk, it just means that your faith was never genuine to begin with.

Spurgeon, he said, "Faith and works are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God trusts God; and he that trusts God obeys God. He that is without faith is without works; and he that is without works is without faith."

Now, I'm sure you know, if Spurgeon is not saying that, "You earn your way to God by your works, but salvation is by faith, and yet faith is never alone. Faith will produce works, and if there is no works, it shows that you had no faith to begin with."

I think of nothing more direct and sobering and alarming than what Jesus Himself said, "It's not talk, folks." "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the Kingdom of heaven."' [Matt 7:21] There'll be plenty of people on the last day, who would say to Jesus, "O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, didn't we know You?" And I suspect many of them would come from churches today.

Many will say, "Lord, Lord, but not everyone who says, "Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven." [Matt 7:21] What's the distinction here? Say versus do.

And that He goes on to say, "On that day many will again say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, do many mighty works in Your Name?" [Matt 7:22] Well, they did do many spectacular things using the Name of Jesus, but they never obeyed God. They did not do these things in obedience to God. They did not do these things in conformity to the will of God.

"And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." [Matt 7:23] "You never lived in obedience, and that's why you were never part of the Kingdom, regardless of what you say." So again, "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father." [Matt 7:21]

Genuine faith is what God uses to save, but genuine faith will be manifested in genuine works. And if there is none of that, it just meant you never had genuine faith. Doesn't matter if you were baptized. Doesn't matter if you have been in church for 50 years. Doesn't matter if your parents are Christians. If you have no works, it just goes to show you have no faith, and therefore you have no salvation. You have no entrance into the Kingdom of heaven.

"Everyone," Jesus goes on to add, "then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock and the storms will come, but the house will stand. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand, and when the storm comes, [a picture of the judgment that is to come,] his house will be swept away." [Matt 7:24,26]

Who are those who will stand and who are those who will fall? Well, the contrast here is between a wise man and a foolish man. Who's a wise man? "Oh ..." you say, "... a wise man is someone who knows and a foolish man is someone who doesn't know." I disagree with you because Jesus here says, "The wise man knows, he hears these words and the foolish man also knows, he hears these words."

The difference between the wise and the fool is not what they know or do not know, the difference is whether they do or do not do. And so if you are someone who is in church and you say, "I know these doctrines, I know the doctrine of justification by faith. I know that I need to believe in Jesus Christ," but you never obeyed God, I tell you, "You are a fool, because it just shows that you never really believed."

Of course, we don't do these works to earn salvation, but if you genuinely believe in Jesus Christ, and your own Him as your Lord and Savior, it can't be, but that you would want to obey the Father. And if you don't, regardless of what you say, you are never saved, you were never born again, you are just a hypocrite, who one day will say to God on the final day of judgment, "Lord, Lord, did I not go to church? Was I not baptized? Did I not read the Bible?" And Jesus will say to you, "Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you."

But Abraham, he was not a fake, he was not a charlatan, he was the real deal. How do we know? "He was justified by his works when he offered Isaac, when he was willing to surrender all and to obey." Would you obey God in your life?

Well, finally, let us be reminded about who God is. God is absolutely faithful. It's amazing! This began with a test of Abraham's faith, but it ultimately culminates in a statement and testimony about God's faithfulness - "I will surely bless you and multiply you." [Heb 6:14]

God is so committed to His promise to bless. And this blessing, of course, would be through His Son, Jesus Christ. God is saying, "Abraham, through your Offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." It's a long-range promise, but it was a promise well fulfilled.

Because 2,000 years after Abraham, in the line of Isaac will be born Jesus into this world, through the womb of Mary. And this Jesus will go to the cross and by His death and resurrection, He will be the source of blessing for those who would repent and believe in Him.

My friend, I can't help but think that just like Isaac, Jesus would be laid on wood, on a wooden cross. And there, Jesus like Isaac would be like a sacrifice and indeed become the sacrifice.
But unlike Isaac, Jesus will not be spared. Can you imagine the Father's heart when it is the Father Himself, who would crush the Son?

When the Son would say, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me." Can you imagine the agony in the Father when He is the One who have to deal with His Son, who is bearing the sins of those who would believe upon Him? And on that day when Jesus is on the cross, there is no one who can take His place, there is no other ram caught in the thicket. He would be the One, who will bear the full wrath of God for you and for me. That is the ultimate sacrifice!

Abraham's sacrifice, well, not even a sacrifice! Abraham's near sacrifice was only a tiny, tiny picture of what God would do for sinners, like you and me. God would crush His Son. God would lay on Him the iniquity of us all. God will bruise His Son. God will indeed kill His Son, so that you and I today, we have our sins forgiven and be reconciled with God.

"God made Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." [2 Cor 5:21] My friends, this is the central story of the Bible. The ultimate sacrifice of the Bible, the innocent Son of God, to ... who will die for wicked sinners, like us. I pray today you will repent and believe in Jesus. May God bless you.

Jesus, unlike Isaac was raised from the dead. He is the victorious King. He has defeated the devil. God's promise is fulfilled, and will always be fulfilled, you can trust Him.

Let's bow for a word of prayer together.

Father, this morning we are thankful that in this story of Abraham and Isaac, we can perhaps understand why today, some of us go through difficulties; trials. Maybe some of us are called today to surrender some precious Isaacs in our lives. I pray that Your Word today will grant strength and courage, that Your people may then gladly take that step of obedience, like our father Abraham.

But most of all, dear God, we thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. May men and women tuning in today, even little children tuning in today, see that ram, that Lamb on the cross. He took our sins and paid it all. And He cried out, "It is finished."

God, thank You that you're always faithful to Your Word. Help many today to take Your Word that says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." May many be saved.

I want to pray for endurance and faith for your children, as we go through hardship. May look to You and trust You, and indeed rejoice in You. Thank You. And we pray all this in Jesus' Name. Amen. God bless.



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