April 17th, 2003, (Maundy) Thursday Evening Easter Weekend
"His Only Son"
God knows what it's like to lose an only Son
OPENING: Genesis 22:1-14, KJV
INTRODUCTION: The familiar story of Abraham's sacrifice of his only son, Isaac, is
a picture of true faith. But it also gives us insight into
the relationship God the Father has for His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. What an incredible sacrifice,
unlike Abraham almost made, that God made by giving His Son up to die.
Genesis 22:1-2: To test Abraham's obedience to God, God purposely makes
an intensely agonizing request of Abraham that he take his only son he waited almost 100 years to
be born (Genesis 21:5) and kill him and offer him to God as a burnt offering.
This may sound cruel to our ears but we must remember that God was not asking Abraham
to do something that God, Himself, would not (painfully) do.
Matthew 3:17: Remember how God felt about his Son, Jesus, when Jesus was
baptized by John the Baptist: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
One big difference between the commanded sacrifice of Isaac and the death of Christ
is that the death of Isaac would have marked the end of the promise God made to Abraham
(Genesis 12:1-2) whereas the death of Christ marks the fulfillment of a better promise
than if Christ was spared
Genesis 22:7-8: Isaac may have been getting nervous as he and his dad,
Abraham, were approaching the altar with wood and fire but no lamb. Isaac asked where the sacrifice
was but Abraham simply said, "God would provide."
Abraham said this with simple confidence and true belief because he remembered God's
promise to him (Genesis 12:1-2)--and God never fails in His promises--would have
failed if Isaac were to truly die. Further, killing his only son would accomplish nothing in God's
plan. Therefore, Abraham was convinced God, even at the last moment, would provide for Abraham
No sacrifice we could ever make will satisfy God's just
demands. God is the only one who can provide an acceptable (perfect) sacrifice--His PERFECT Son.
What's even better is that God is WILLING to offer his Son as an acceptable sacrifice for the World
Genesis 22:11-12: God graciously
stops the execution of Isaac.
Abraham is praised by God for his faith in fully following through with God's order if
God didn't stop him.
Because of Abraham's (saving) faith, God
provided an alternate sacrifice that moment: a ram caught in thickets
Years later, another beloved Son found
Himself in a similar situation. Jesus Christ was wrongly accused and facing death and Jesus
asks His Father: (Mark 14:36) "And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible
unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."
Even though Jesus was obedient and sinless unto death, it didn't mean He necessarily
wanted what was coming to Him. However, this shows that while the Son would rather have something
different happen to Him, He would obey his Father, no matter what
There was no other way for humankind to be redeemed
unto God except by a perfect sacrifice--God's perfect Son, Jesus. Therefore, it was always in
God's plan for His Son to be sacrificed
We can relate to how God the Father felt about His Only Son, Jesus, just because of how we feel
about our own sons--especially Abraham who earnestly waited 100 years for his only one!
Jesus is the alternate "ram caught in the thicket" that God sacrificed
for our atonement instead of sacrificing US all--you and I!
On this Maundy Thursday, Jesus is conducting the "Last Supper" with his disciples.
As you go home tonight, Jesus and the disciples will exit to the garden of Gethsemane
As you lay down to sleep, Jesus and the disciples begin to pray
As you fall deep into sleep, the disciples, weary from the day, begin to sleep, as well, while
Jesus begins to pray about upcoming events--sweating drops of blood! (Luke 22:44)
By the time you awake to the morning sun, Jesus has already been captured, tried,
falsely found guilty, and on His way to His crucifixion--to hang on the cross for six hours until