SERIES: The Gospel in Genesis: Abraham

TEXT: Genesis 22:1-14


“I think the reason Abraham is important is because he stands at the center of the relationship between humans and God. So if you want to understand God, you have to understand Abraham…What’s interesting about this is this story of the sacrifice, which everybody remembers from when they were a child–you think that the story would be so barbaric that it would have died out over time. Instead, this story is read in the holiest week of the Jewish year, at Rosh Hashana. It’s read in the holiest week of the Christian year, at Easter. It’s read in the holiest week–the same story–the holiest week in the Muslim year, at the end of the pilgrimage.” — Bruce Feiler

“Take away the cross of Christ, and the Bible is a dark book.” — J. C. Ryle


“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac…(why) He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead…” — Hebrews 11:17-19


In short, I didn’t become a Christian because God promised I would have an even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised any such thing…Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take.” – Lee Strobel


“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” – John 8:56


We see it in three ways. It’s through seeing…(1. The significance of the spot 2. The meaning of the sacrifice 3. The necessity of the substitution)


  1. The significance of the spot 

“After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your sonyour only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”


Derek Kidner writes…“In New Testament terms, this is the vicinity of Calvary.”


And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull)…” — Matthew 27:33


       2. The meaning of the sacrifice (v. 3-8)

“So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then 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.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.”


“Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads…” — Matthew 27:39


        3. The necessity of the substitution (v. 9-14)

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went andtook the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”


“And when the ultimate beloved Child cried, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ the Father paid the price in his silence.” 

— Edmund Clowney


“My entire theology can be condensed into 4 words: ‘Jesus died for me.” — Charles Spurgeon


“This event is a picture of God offering up Jesus on Good Friday. Isaac is described as Abraham’s “only son, whom he loved” (Gen. 22:2John 3:16). He’s seen carrying the wood on which he would be slain (Gen. 22:6John 19:17). And when he asks his father, “Here is the wood but where is the lamb?” Abraham replies, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:7–8). He would indeed. Whereas God spared Abraham’s son, he didn’t spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all (Rom. 8:32). But there’s more. The story is also a picture of Jesus’s resurrection. Abraham tells his servant that both he and Isaac will return (Gen. 22:5).” — Justin Dillehay


TAKEAWAYS: How can we apply this today?


  • What view of God are you holding onto?


  • What do you believe is impossible for God to resurrect?


“It is historically certain that Peter and the other disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.” 

— Gerd Ludemann, Atheist Scholar


  • What hope will you hold onto in your darkest moments?


GOSPEL: How do you know that God loves you?

“…v.12 for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me; v 14 “…On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”


“If we want proof of God’s love for us, then we must look first at the Cross where God offered up His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Calvary is the one objective, absolute, irrefutable proof of God’s love for us.” 

— Jerry Bridges