March 30, 2009 - Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Today's Reading: Genesis 22:1-14

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 2:1-22; Mark 14:32-52

Then, Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter His Son.” (Genesis 22:10)

In the Name of Jesus. Amen. The command from God to Abraham was unthinkable: “Take your son, the one you love, and offer him to Me as a burnt offering on the mountain that I tell you.”

And Abraham simply does what is commanded. He wakes up and takes his son, his only true son, and goes up the mountain, just as the Lord commanded. On the third day, He and his son go up the mountain. Abraham lays the wood for the offering on his son. Isaac carries the very wood that he will be sacrificed upon!

“Dad, we have the wood for the offering, but where is the Lamb?”

“God will Himself provide the Lamb for the offering, my son,” Abraham assured him. Father Abraham built the altar and put the wood under it. Then, he did the unthinkable: he bound his only son and put him upon the altar. Abraham lifted up the blade to slaughter Isaac. Thank God, the Lord stopped him just in the nick of time!

That plot-line sure sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It should! This Old Testament story points us to the Father who gives up His Son for you. The Son carries the very wood that He will be sacrificed upon and dies an offering for sin. After three days, God raised His Son from the dead.

He has raised you, too, in the waters of your Baptism. You once were dead, but now you are alive with Christ--not by what you have done, but solely by the merits of Christ.

What God stops Abraham from doing; He doesn’t stop Himself from doing. The Father sacrifices His Only-Begotten Son. He offers His beloved Son for your sins and mine. That’s the Gospel! Did Abraham believe that God was going to stop him? Did he know that God would raise His sacrificed son? The Book of Hebrews says believed God what do whatever it took.

What it does say is that Abraham did as He was commanded by God. He believed God, and God credited it to him as righteousness. God counted Abraham righteous not by what He did, but by faith alone.

On that day, God didn’t provide a lamb like Abraham expected, instead providing a ram. On Good Friday, God did provide that Lamb for you, His Son. Trust that the sacrifice of Jesus counts for you. Give up trusting in what you have done and haven’t done. Repent and believe that your sins were taken away by the precious Blood and innocent death of Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

It is unthinkable that the Father would sacrifice His Son for you. But, that is your faith and your salvation! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.