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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.