“The fire and wood are here,” said Isaac, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Verse 7 (NIV)
I knew this Bible story from Sunday School, but its significance did not sink in at all. Shortly after becoming a believer I watched a television production of the same story and I was hugely affected by both the actual story and the foreshadowing of Jesus sacrifice. The faith of Abraham, as he lifted the knife to do God’s biding astounded me just from the human side of things. Then to consider that with Isaac’s life all the promises of God to Abraham would die, and yet, he remained obedient. What a testimony. And then to consider thatJesus, knowing full well what lay before him endured the cross with joy.Not joy for the suffering that was about to come to him but the joy that forgiveness and eternal life were about to be offered by grace and grace alone.
Today, I want to focus on Isaac’s question: “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” As God promised, a lamb was provided, and the portrait of a substitutionary lamb was laid in place. For Israel, this picture would repeat itself over and over again. Lambs were sacrificed for the forgiveness of sin, for the freedom from slavery, and Isaiah would prophesy that the people’s true salvation would come through a lamb who would pour out his life and bear the sin of many (Isaiah 53). But God’s people continued to wait and ask: Where is the lamb?
Finally, while John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River, he pointed to Jesus and cried out, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NIV). Jesus Christ, the Lamb, who died and rose again to take away our sins and give us new life forever!Here is “The Lamb” of God, and he waits for all who still seek him.
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive . . . honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12 NIV). Amen.