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The Covenant With Abraham: Part 6

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., February 22, 2015
Part of the Great Events in the History of Redemption series.

Over the last several Sundays we have been tracing the story of Abraham from the pages of the Book of Genesis. One of the most dramatic episodes in his life is recorded in Genesis 22 where, under direct orders from the Lord, Abraham journeyed to the land of Moriah and offered his only son as a sacrifice. However, a strange thing happened in the very course of the sacrifice. The angel of the Lord stopped the patriarch in his tracks, and God provided a substitute sacrifice in the form of a ram.

This incredible episode is taken up in the New Testament and used in two marvelous ways. First, it presents us with a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, whom God the Father provided as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. And then, the obedience of Abraham, born out of a heart of faith and trust in the promise of God, is set forth as an example of what saving faith does. Abraham, then, is the prime example of how God freely justifies sinners apart from their works solely upon the basis of Christ’s imputed righteousness. But, he is also an example of how the same faith in Christ that freely justifies the sinner also bears spiritual fruit–the fruit of love and obedience.

Genesis 22:1-14

1And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you, 6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (KJV)