‘Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb’ (Genesis 22:8 ESV)

When Isaac asked his father about the sacrifice, Abraham’s faith-filled response was: “God will provide the lamb.” Surely, Isaac had accompanied his father on many occasions as he made sacrifice to the Lord. Yet, on this day, they brought no offering. Fire and wood they brought, but no lamb. What a long, difficult climb up the mountain this must have been, as Isaac watched his father’s face for a hint of explanation and Abraham listened for the Lord to whisper some new instruction. Both Abraham and Isaac passed this test of faith. Abraham, obedient to God, took his promised son, the child that had brought laughter to his old age, and prepared to offer him as a sacrifice. And Isaac, obedient to his father, willingly surrendered himself, going silently to the slaughter. But God did provide. Isaac didn’t have to die. This story of Abraham and Isaac foreshadows God’s offering of His only Son, Jesus, as the Lamb. God has provided for “himself” (not from us, from “Himself”) a Lamb, so that we don’t have to die. As John the Baptist declared when he saw Jesus approaching the Jordan river, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).