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Sons of Sacrifice

Abraham was one of the most faithful people of Bible History; he is even referred to as the "father of the faithful," which has a double, and somewhat ironic, meaning. A defining test of Abraham's faith and obedience to God also involved a great amount of faith and obedience on the part of Abraham's son Isaac, who willingly and obediently submitted himself as the "lamb" in what would surely have been a fulfilled sacrifice of Isaac. At the time, Abraham was elderly, and Isaac was a nearing-manhood youth; Isaac could have overpowered his father, or at least outrun him, if he had chosen to resist his own imminent death, but he didn't. He too had faith.

"O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me"

Isaac It was intended only as an ultimate test, but only God knew that. As far as Abraham was aware in the days just before, and as Isaac was aware in the minutes just before, it was for real. God may have chosen the sacrifice of a son as the test because it was something that He would experience Himself - God knew that, centuries later, near the very same location of Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, God would bring about the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus Christ, and although in the hours just before His crucifixion Jesus may have had Isaac's near-sacrifice in mind when He asked "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39 KJV), that was a Sacrifice that would not be stopped.

A test of faith and obedience for Abraham and Isaac:

"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham:"

"And he said, Behold, here I am."

"And 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."

"And 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. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And 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."

"And 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."

"And 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?"

"And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."

"And 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. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son."

"And the angel of The Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham:"

"And he said, Here am I."

"And 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."

"And 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." (Genesis 22:1-13 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does the New Testament have to say about the near-sacrifice of Isaac?
Hebrews 11:17-19
Note: these verses provide another symbolic parallel between Isaac and Jesus Christ, the "bringing back from the dead," i.e. "that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure" (Hebrews 11:19 KJV)

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