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Where's the Lamb?

Genesis 22:1-2 NLT


Later on God tested Abraham's faith and obedience. "Abraham!" God called.

"Yes," he replied. "Here I am." 

[2] "Take your son, your only son yes, Isaac, whom you love so much and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you." 

Sarai was barren. 

What a terrible word, certainly it doesn't pass the test demanded by today's culture of political correctness. But in her world, the word fit the circumstance. Her society valued her less because of her problem. She was unable to bear children she was barren and unproductive. 

Barren. The very word elicits thoughts of snakes slithering in a desert wasteland. Proverbs 30:15-16 says, "There are three other things no, four! that are never satisfied: [16] the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire."

Her barrenness defined her existence. In Genesis 12:29 we first learn of Abram's marriage to Sarai. The Biblical narrative wastes no time in associating her malady with her name. By verse 30, everyone knows that Sarai was barren. Like the grave, the desert and the blazing fire, her womb would never know satisfaction.

From where I sit, her barrenness was the least of her problems. She was married to a louse of a husband. On two different occasions, her husband gave her to other men because he was afraid they would kill him if he didn't let them sleep with her. 

And they say chivalry is dead. 

It amazes me how God uses the least worthy people to accomplish the greatest things. Abram was ninety-nine years old when God revealed some good news to him.

First, he was changing his name from Abram "father" to Abraham "father of many." Second, God had some more news:

Genesis 17:15-17 NLT Then God added, "Regarding Sarai, your wife her name will no longer be Sarai; from now on you will call her Sarah. [16] And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings will be among her descendants!" 

[17] Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. "How could I become a father at the age of one hundred?" he wondered. "Besides, Sarah is ninety; how could she have a baby?" 

In disbelief, Abraham laughed. His laughter was contiguous. Sarai, whose name was changed from "princely" to Sarah "princess" laughed too.

Genesis 18:10-12 NLT

Then one of them said, "About this time next year I will return, and your wife Sarah will have a son." Now Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent nearby. [11] And since Abraham and Sarah were both very old, and Sarah was long past the age of having children, [12] she laughed silently to herself. "How could a worn-out woman like me have a baby?" she thought. "And when my master my husband is also so old?" 

I love what they both said after they laughed. In Gen. 17:17, Abraham called Sarah old, and in Gen. 18:12, Sarah returned the favor.

God turned their mocking laughter into joyful laughter when He gave them a baby boy. His name? Isaac "laughter" of course.

Water is more refreshing to those who are thirsty. Food is more satisfying to the really hungry. Don't you imagine Sarah had multiplied joy when she gave birth to her first son at the age of ninety?

All was well, but then God paid another visit to Abraham.

Genesis 22:1-2 NLT Later on God tested Abraham's faith and obedience. "Abraham!" God called. "Yes," he replied. "Here I am." [2] "Take your son, your only son yes, Isaac, whom you love so much and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you." 

Abraham who offered his wife to other men because he was afraid and laughed at God when he announced the coming birth of his son, didn't argue. He'd learned to trust "God who provides."

Three days into the journey, Abraham left his servants with the donkeys and he and his son Isaac walked up the mountain. Curious, Isaac said, "Father?" "Yes, my son," Abraham replied. "We have the wood and the fire," said the boy, "but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?" [8] "God will provide a lamb, my son," Abraham answered. And they both went on together. (Genesis 22:7-8 NLT)

The Day I Lay My Isaac Down Choir

Walking up the hill, the child trusts his Daddy and his Daddy trusts his God. When they reached their destination, Abraham put his son on the altar. He raised his knife, ready to score the death blow when the angel of the Lord stopped him and provided a substitute sacrifice.

And the son cried out, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46 KJV) 

Beneath the cross, His mother watched through her tears as her Son yelled in agony. Next to her was the disciple whom Jesus loved his cousin John. He saw it all.

The Roman guards who beat Him and nailed Him to the cross were watching. The crowds who called for his blood watched with morbid curiosity, but not His heavenly Father. He turned His back on Jesus as he shook from sin's death blow.

Though God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, he could not stop Himself. For His son was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8 KJV)

The Lamb who was Slain Choir

Joseph of Arimathaea took his limp, blood stained body from the cross and placed him in his tomb. They sealed the tomb with a stone and posted Roman guards to protect his remains with their own lives if necessary.

The crowd dissipated. The night fell; the Sabbath came and Jesus was dead. 

It was a bleak moment. Perhaps those who loved Jesus felt as Isaac must have felt seeing the sunlight glisten off a knife pointed at his heart.

Hopeless? Despondent? Confused?

But we know the end of the story, don't we? Jesus burst through death, holding the keys to death and hell in His nail-scarred hand. Death could not keep its bony fingers around our Lord; the Father would not leave Him in the grave. He arose! And when he did, He made new life possible to all who believe.

Low in the Grave He Lay 160 Congregation

Paul wrote: Romans 10:9 KJV That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 

We have a choice. With the faith of Abraham, we can trust in our God who provides and believe that He raised Jesus from the dead and experience eternal life. Or we can take the death blow upon ourselves and our children.

Do you believe the Easter story? Do you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead? If you do, there is only one other thing you must do to have eternal life you must confess Him as your Lord. Are you ready? Why not do so right now?

Invitation Just As I Am 307 Congregation

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