Day 3

Our Need for Resurrection

from the Because He Lives reading plan


Genesis 22:1-19, Hebrews 11:17-19, Daniel 12:2-3

BY Rebecca Faires

The binding of Isaac breaks my heart every time I read it. I subconsciously swap myself for Abraham and replace Isaac with my beloved firstborn son, and suddenly the story hurts in a real and visceral way. (Did you do this when you read the passage?) Each physical hurdle becomes agonizing—the saddling of the donkey, the splitting of the wood, the long walk uphill, and finally, the binding up of a beloved boy. The whole agonizing ordeal truly begs the question: How did Abraham do it? How did he make it through all the steps up to the very point of raising a knife over his promised and beloved son?

Chillingly, child sacrifice has a long, established history in many cultures, including that of Mesopotamia. Abraham was from Ur (Genesis 11:31), and so he would have been familiar with the sacrifice of a child to prove devotion to a god. Similarly, the Canaanites worshipped Molech, the false god most famous for demanding child sacrifice. The idea behind the sacrifice was this: If you are willing to sacrifice the person most precious to you—and for parents, nothing could be more precious to us than our children—then you could prove your devotion to your god. Abraham had certainly encountered this kind of demand before with regard to other cultural gods.

Second, Abraham trusted God. He trusted that “I AM” was not just another Baal or Molech. Abraham believed that God was the one true God, and he cherished the profound hope that “I AM” was different. Abraham had such trust that he reasoned God would provide for a miraculous resurrection to save Isaac, if that’s what it took (Hebrews 11:19). He even told Isaac, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8).

For both these reasons, we find Abraham shuddering with a knife raised over that which is most precious to Him. And we find ourselves standing right beside him, surveying the hopelessness of our station. We are dead in our trespasses, we live under a curse, and we have no hope of satisfying the chasm of debt that we owe. Indeed, the consequence of our sin is death (Romans 6:23).

We need a God who can raise the dead (Matthew 10:8). We need a God who has the power to undo the curse (Romans 8:2). And our God has promised and proven that He can and will do both. Our God does not demand child sacrifice—He abhors it! After all, He knits together our children and treasures them because they are His very own. We don’t need a false god with a lust for flesh and a desire for pain. Rather, we worship the one true God, who preserves, protects, loves, and cherishes us and our children. Hallelujah!

Post Comments (91)

91 thoughts on "Our Need for Resurrection"

  1. Lexi B. says:

    Lord,

    Lead me to trust, believe, and know you will provide in the midst of chaos.

    -Amen.

  2. Andrea P says:

    “The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.”
    Do you see that? Abraham has said “ we’ll come back to you”. He had such faith that he knew God would provide and that he and his son would be back ! Oh how I wish I had such faith!

  3. Beth Hinson says:

    Abraham followed God so unwavering through the hardest thing he could’ve been asked to do, yet, I stumble whenever the slightest inconvenience occurs. God help me to follow you, even when I don’t know your plan and help me to sacrifice my materialistic things that don’t even compare to the gifts you have given us!

  4. Julie says:

    I may not be a mother, yet, but I’ve experienced and seen my mothers love for me. I shudder at this story as well. I had never tied the cultural influence into my thoughts before, so thanks for that – though it still is gut-wrenching. Learn something new every day!

  5. Abby says:

    I’m glad to be reading with SRT again!

  6. Maggie says:

    I love this perspective and the added context provided by your explanation of the cultural situation. Makes the story even more powerful.

  7. Crislyn Petzoldt says:

    I focus more on Abraham’s faith, then the enduring pain he went through with his son. To be that faithful is what God’s plan for us is. Painful, yet uplifting message!

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