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 (105)

105 thoughts on "Our Need for Resurrection"

  1. Karen says:

    I feel you can look at this story in two ways. One is to see that sincere faith in God allowed Abraham to trust Him fully even to the point of sacrificing his own son because he believed that God would remain faithful and bring his son back to life. It’s truly hard to fathom that he would do this to his own child! but at the same time the fact that he was willing to give God whatever He asked of him in FAITH.

    The other is the strong parallel to God’s only son Jesus going to the cross and being sacrificed. This parallel helps me to see the bigger message of this story which is God’s ultimate sacrifice for us. It’s amazing to think about this in light of when this story was written compared to when Jesus walked the earth and then became the sacrificial lamb who bore our sins to reunite us to our Father in heaven. Thank you Jesus!!!

  2. Karissa Stanio says:

    I cannot imagine how Abraham and Isaac must have felt. Could Isaac forgive his father? Could he understand why it was happening? Did Abraham explain?

    1. Katherine Lopez says:

      It must have been scary and confusing! I wonder if this was Isaac’s first in-person exposure to God’s voice. He was more likely a young man or older teenager, not a small child, and his own faith is powerful as he trusts that his father is obeying the LORD. And when God called out and stopped the sacrifice, when he commended Abraham’s faith and reaffirmed the magnificent promises he had made to him, I imagine that was a powerful moment in the solidification of Isaac’s own faith in God.

  3. Carmen Lye says:

    And this also speaks to me of Gods pain as His son cried out “why have you forsaken me?” They knew the outcome but they still had to endure the pain…… could I do this? I’m not sure I could- walking up that hill must have been the worst moment of his life.

  4. Anastasia R says:

    I find it difficult to reconcile the God that I know and love with this story, however I also know that finding it difficult and not knowing why or understanding is an important part of faith. In many ways it’s in my moments of questioning and doubt that I find my faith grow stronger as I work through those feelings

  5. A Friend in Christ says:

    Kaity- I read your comment and felt I should reply. First, I am so sorry for your loss and will be praying for you and your baby. Second, let me tell you that I have recently experienced a miscarriage of my own. All I can say is that through the pain and loss and grief, God was so close. I believe God spoke to me in a real and tangible way through quiet time and through my close community of believers and affirmed that He did not have anything to do with the death of my unborn child. In fact, God has given me full confirmation that He has our child with Him in heaven. Cradling and caring for that child in only the way He can. God loves each of us dearly, and knew that when He called Abraham into this moment, that Isaac was never at risk, he was always going to be safe. Abraham was able to trust God because He knew the heart of our Heavenly Father, Abraham knew, that God loved Isaac and promised to create generations from him. So, I believe Abraham stood firm on the promise that God is a God who keeps His promises and is a God who loves him.

    That same God sent His own son to die a wretched death on the cross, He suffered, for us, He took on the pain for us. So that, we may be free and have life and life in the fullest. This is a God of mercy and this is a God whom loves you and your babies. We live in a broken world and we have an enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus is the opposite of that–He died so we could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). So have hope, for Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33) and offers you His peace. I pray you will stand on His promises and that the Holy Spirit would expose Himself to you and reveal His love for you and your family and give you His peace.

    1. Taylor Landers says:

      This is a beautiful response. ♥️

    2. Sheila Ezell says:

      Such wise and sweet words my friend.

    3. Savanna Chapple says:

      Perfect response of the Fathers heart for us. Such wise words that show exactly why Abraham sent his son as an offering. Perhaps we would see the true meaning behind this; that the ones we love and hold so dearly, God loves even more and wouldn’t call upon the faith of the parents without knowing that He will care for them. :)

  6. Holly says:

    There is nothing at all in my life that can compare to this moment, even at my worst. The fact that Abraham was able to suffer the unimaginable anxiety of preparing his child for sacrifice stands out to me. His faith maintained him, he knew the Lord was going to provide the lamb. This passage means so much to me because it shows you that through faith you can survive anything. I struggle with the concept, but Abraham’s story is one of many throughout the Bible that reinforces that we must stay in faith.

  7. Kaity says:

    As I carry a child inside me, this story seems too horrific. I’ve experienced two miscarriages in the last year and am begging God every day to spare the life of this child. It’s so hard for me to trust a God who would kill my children. I’m scared of what God could do to the one inside me. Why would God ask Abraham to sacrifice his child? No child deserves that. Even if God is just asking me to prove my loyalty to Him by taking my babies from me, how is it worth it if an innocent child’s life has to end? I’ve been a Christian and a pastor’s daughter and now a pastor’s wife. Trust always came so easy before but now it’s an everyday battle.

    1. Angela Stackhouse says:

      From one pastor’s wife to another, I struggle mightily with this story, too. Thank you for your honesty. ❤️ I’m also pregnant, but I have not experienced the previous losses you have. I can see how Abraham’s story would be especially excruciating for you. I’ll be thinking about you today and praying for you and your baby. Sending you love…

  8. Leah Rachow says:

    Are worshipping and trusting in God or the things he has given you? This passage always reminds me to ask myself that question.
    I also love this passage because of the foreshadowing God gives Abraham when He says He will bless all nations through Abraham’s offspring. God didn’t make Abraham sacrifice his only son, even though the wages of sin is death. Rather, God always had a plan in place to sacrifice His only Son.

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