Our Need for Resurrection
Open Your Bible
Genesis 22:1-19, Hebrews 11:17-19, Daniel 12:2-3
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!