Verse: Hebrews 11:17-19
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
This is a tough verse. It's hard to imagine God asking someone to do this. That's why I think it's important to read the whole passage. What's the point of this verse? What's actually happening here?
The bigger story, the story behind the story if you will, is that this is a picture of God and Jesus. This (as with all of Scripture) points to Jesus. In this dilemma we see a human father who is willing to give up his son, but in the end doesn't have to. In the life of Jesus, we see our Heavenly Father actually give up his Son out of his great love for us.
In order for God's promise that Abraham's descendants would be a blessing to all nations to be fulfilled, Isaac had to live. But for the promise to be truly and completely fulfilled, Jesus had to die. And not just any death, a sacrificial death. A death in our place. And a willing death, where Jesus himself laid down on the sacrificial altar.
And as Abraham believed that God's promise was true, even to the point of figuring God could raise his son from the dead (and so he did figuratively receive him "back from the dead"). God the Father received Jesus literally back from the dead, when he defeated death on the third day and rose to bring life to all who follow him.
When Jesus comes on the scene he brings about the fulfillment of so many of the Old Testament story lines. He is the new and better Adam, he fulfills the Abrahamic promise, he is the new and better Moses and the new and better David, the fulfillment of the prophecies, and the one true Messiah. All of the promises, commands, stories, and prophecies point to him. In the end it is all about Jesus.
Let that be your encouragement this morning as you start your week. As Scripture points to Jesus, let our lives point to Jesus. As Scripture find it's apex in Jesus, let him be the most important part about our lives too. Today, listen to his voice, receive his grace, and allow his Spirit to guide you and minister to you.
Thank you Jesus for being the center of the Story. I want to live my life seeking you and finding your more and more.