Substitution

“Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette and the West Alabama Gazette”.

Watering the Tulips

02/01/2012

“Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son” - Genesis 22:13
The passage before us today contains one of the more popular Old Testament (true) stories. God had instructed Abraham to take the son that he had waited so long for and offer him as a burnt offering. Without hesitation, Abraham faithfully followed the Lord’s instruction. Though, Abraham knew that God had promised to bless him through Isaac. Even before leaving his companions to journey to the place of sacrifice, Abraham said, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). We, Abraham? God had told you to offer your son as a burnt offering. There would be no “we” returning. But, Abraham knew better than we often do. Don’t misunderstand friends; Abraham fully trusted God and His promise to bless his seed through Isaac. Abraham was confident that even if Isaac was slain, God could raise him from the dead. This is one of the greatest expressions of faith in the entire Bible. The New Testament references this time by saying, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Hebrews 11:17-19). Do not miss the point that this entire episode is a display of the confidence Abraham had in the Lord. What a wonderful example Abraham is for us! But, there is more…there is much more! The most glorious part of this story is not the display of Abraham’s faith. Without doubt, it is important. But, the typology here is much greater! Isaac was freed because God provided a ram to be offered “instead” of Isaac. The ram became his substitute. The ram satisfied God. What a picture! Though the sentence of death had been passed on Isaac, God supplied a way of escape through the ram! What a display of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. Man is guilty before God. The sentence of death has been passed “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) – eternal death; eternal punishment! But, God has supplied a Way of escape from the penalty of our sins just as He supplied a way of escape for Isaac! “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus is the believer’s Substitute. He took what we deserved and paid the penalty for it. Because He paid our penalty, we cannot be condemned! Praise the Lord! Do you trust Christ alone today?

Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your app to the Gospel” is available for download in the iTunes app store and the Android market. Download it today.

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