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July 11, 2013 at 9:01 am #1031
Compare Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac with God the Father’s willingness to sacrifice His son Jesus.July 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm #1036AnonymousInactive
I think that Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac is different than God’s willingness to sacrifice his son Jesus. God tested Abraham, by asking him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering, and Abraham was going to obey, even to the point of raising a knife to slay Isaac, before God intervened and affirmed Abraham’s love and fear of God. Whereas, God’s sacrificing his son Jesus was a sign for ALL people, not just a way that He showed his love to only a few of us. Jesus’ sacrifice was a means to an end, a way for us to be with God forever, and to forgive all of our sins. Jesus was our sacrificial lamb, while Isaac was only going to be Abraham’s sacrifice.July 15, 2013 at 8:47 am #1040AnonymousInactive
I’ve had kind of a late start on discussing this week. The past several days have been busy! I’ll start by admitting that I have no idea how hard it would be to sacrifice a son. That being said, I do not imagine that it would be an easy thing. Reflecting on this, it is amazing too me that both Abraham and the Father were willing to do it.
In both cases, I see similarities. Both Abraham and the Father were willing to sacrifice their son for others. The Father sacrificed his son for the sake of making salvation available to a lost, dying, rebellious, sinful world deserving of death. What an incredible act of love. Abraham, on the other hand, was willing to sacrifice his son for God. In these ways, both the Father and Abraham were willing to sacrifice their son for goods (not on some arbitrary and cruel whim). The Father sacrificed his son for the great good of salvation freely bestowed on his creatures. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son for the great good of being obedient to God, the creator and sovereign of all, the source and paradigm of all goodness, beauty, love, purity, and power, the one to whom we rightfully owe allegiance, and the all-knowing one whom we can trust is doing right when we are called upon by him to do things for which we do not know the purpose.
I think the willingness to sacrifice by Abraham and the Father are inspiring in distinct ways. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice inspires me to keep my priorities straight and remember to whom I rightfully owe my highest allegiance. His attitude helps me remember that God, in himself the highest good and the paradigm of goodness, is the one towards whom my will should rightly be ordered. On the other hand, the Father’s sacrifice inspires me to love people, even when they are not deserving. If he loved me so much, even though I deserved death, how can I refuse to love others? I have no right to do such a thing, even though I do it far too often.July 15, 2013 at 9:39 am #1046
Obedience & Love – These seem to be the two themes I am picking up from your responses. Awesome!
Follow-up Question: What are the similarities between Jesus & Isaac in these sacrificial stories?July 15, 2013 at 10:30 am #1047bstadle1Spectator
Jesus and Isaac both seem to be prophecied sons and sons of a new covenant. It is almost as if they are the end caps on a crazy new (very GOOD) thing that God was doing. I can also see how Isaac was a sign of what was to come in the person of Jesus Christ.
I find the biggest contrast between the two is that Jesus went to the altar with full knowledge of His father’s plans, while Isaac was an ignorant boy to his earthly father’s plans. That being said, Isaac was obedient to Abraham’s (his father’s) commands, just as Jesus was obedient the His Father plan. So then they are similar in their disimilarities 🙂
I believe when we read the Hebrew Bible we find that Jesus is the fulfillment of many people/stories whether it be Adam, Noah, Isaac, Moses, etc. He is the ultimate example of sonship, faithfullness, obedience, promise, fulfillment, righteousness, justice…the list goes on and on.
Jesus you are amazing!July 15, 2013 at 11:48 pm #1052AnonymousInactive
Awesome thoughts Ben! I was thinking about the obedience both Jesus and Isaac displayed and it is pretty amazing. Abraham must have really believed that God would provide a sacrifice since he told his servants that they would both return to them. I wonder what Isaac had to be thinking through all of this? Did abraham explain any of it or did Isaac trust his fsther enough to go along with it? In any event the trust that Jesus and Isaac had in their fathers is amazing to me.July 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm #1056AnonymousInactive
Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son because of his faith in God and to show his obedience to God. God was willing to sacrifice His son because of His love for His people and to provide a way for them to be with Him. Both of these sacrifices show the relationship that God has and desires to have with His people.
I think a big similarity between Jesus and Isaac is the faith and trust that they had in their fathers. Isaac did not understand why he and his father had wood and fire for the sacrifice but no lamb, yet he trusted his father and obeyed him. Jesus trusted his father by coming down from heaven and dying on the cross. He obeyed even though he knew from the beginning that he would die, because he had faith in his father’s plan.July 17, 2013 at 9:03 am #1059
Ashley is in the mix!July 17, 2013 at 10:54 am #1060AnonymousInactive
Really interesting thoughts, Ben and Tanner!July 17, 2013 at 10:54 am #1061AnonymousInactive
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