This past week, we have been diving into the story of Abraham, focusing on his near sacrifice of Isaac. If I am honest, I still shrink away from that story. As a child, I was aghast that God could even ask Abraham to do such a thing. I knew it worked out in the end, but it seemed so barbaric. Now, as a mother, I see this from a different perspective. What was Sarah thinking when the small group set off early that morning? I shudder to think of the dread she felt as she watched her son being led away to his execution.
There was another mother who watched her Son walk to his execution. What emotions must she have felt as she watched his tattered body being paraded through the streets like a vile criminal?
Just as Abraham led his son up the mountain, there was also another Father who led his Son to his execution. A Father who knew that the only way to reconcile the people he loved to himself was through the death of his beloved Son.
Just as Isaac willingly followed his father up to the mountain, so this Son willingly followed his Father up the hill. Isaac was bound, this Son was nailed. Isaac was saved by a ram, this Son became the lamb.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
The story of Abraham is a powerful example of stewardship, but it points to a far greater story. It is the story that is woven through the entirety of Scripture. It is the story that points forward to Jesus, God’s beloved Son, given for us. Through this story, we see what real love is. We see what great lengths God went through for us. We see that no matter what, he is worthy of our trust. We can trust him because he did not shrink from the cross. It is through this sacrifice that we find freedom, peace, and hope. Without Jesus, our lives have no purpose.
But just as Abraham and Isaac’s story did not end on that mountain, the cross was just the beginning. I can only imagine the joy on Sarah’s face as she beheld her beloved son, returning alive. Go with me to that other mother, Mary, on that first Easter Sunday morning, when she realized that her Son, Jesus, had conquered death and provided a way for all people to receive eternal life through him!
John 3:17 (ESV)
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Which character in our story can you identify with the most? Think about the trust each one had to have to continue on their journey. Do you have their faith? Do you trust God the way they did?
Listen to “His Heart Beats” by Andrew Peterson. Think about how amazing it is that we have a risen Savior that put death to death.
Day 12 Prayer Focus – To Live in Fearlessly (1 John 4:18-19)
Dear God, thank you for being a God of perfect love. Thank you for loving me first—before I accepted your salvation, before I even knew you, while I was still living in sin. Teach me to love as you love, without fear or condemnation. Help me to offer grace to those around me, just as you first offered grace to me, Amen.
This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her five young children.
Day 13 Prayer Focus – To be like Christ in my Relationships (Philippians 2:3-4)
Dear Lord, please help me be like you in all of my relationships with others. Please help me humble myself and think of the needs of others before my own. Teach me to see how I can serve those around me. Please show me the places in my life where I can make others feel like they matter and let them know that they are not alone. Amen.
Day 14 Prayer Focus – To Worship Him (John 4:23)
Dear Father, I worship you with all my heart and soul. I want to sing your praises from early in the morning, when the sun rises, until late at night, when the day has passed. I am so grateful to be allowed to be your child as your love fills my heart again today. Amen.
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