The other week I was listening to a radio/podcast program called Radiolab. I’m sure many of you have heard about it, its quite a good program. The program for that particular day was called “In Silence”. One of the main guys that talks everyday on the show was re-telling the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac from Genesis 22, and MAN was it it good! He is Jewish of course, so he really did a good job bringing out all the things he thought were in the story but not really out front for us to see. He really tried to press inside Abraham’s head during the journey to Moriah and as he was about to kill Isaac to find out what he could have been thinking. But after doing such a marvelous job of re-telling the story, the speaker simply did not know what the story meant, or what it was supposed to be telling us or teaching us. He is Jewish after all, so he would not see the connections to Jesus being our sacrifice, the Lamb that God provided for us. This made me think, what does the NT further reveal about what Abraham was thinking on the journey and as he was about to kill his son? We can go to two places:
Romans 4:19-21, “Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” This of course is referring to the time when God told Abraham and Sarah that Isaac would be born one day. ”The promised child would come” Abraham thought, even though he and his wife were “as good as dead”. Imagine Abraham journeying to kill this promised son of his. ”Why?” was probably the biggest word on his mind that day. But there’s more than why.
Hebrews 11:17-19, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.” There was more than asking “why?” that day. Abraham knew that God’s promise was bigger than death itself, so he knew that if God had to raise Isaac from the dead, He would do it to keep His promise.
Death cannot stop God’s promise, that is one of the lessons we learn from Genesis 22. I think God did this to show us that when He killed His own begotten Son one day, that death could not even hold the promise down. The Radiolab guy didn’t know this, do you know it?