The Greatest Love Demands the Greatest Sacrifice!

One of the most difficult passages in scripture is God's request for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18). We are told that this is to test Abraham, but why would God ask Abraham to do something that appears to go against God's character of love?

How could killing your own son be an act of love?

Elsewhere in scripture, we are told that God abhorred the child sacrifice of the surrounding nations to the false god Molek. One of God's commandments to the Israelites says you shall not murder.

So did God really want Abraham to kill his own son? I don't think so!

So why did God give the command? And why didn't Abraham question God about the justice of this command as he had questioned God about his intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah even if fifty righteous people could be found in the city (Genesis 18:22-25)?

Abraham had recently proved to himself in that encounter that God, the judge of the earth, would do right. So now, without understanding or questioning why God asks him to kill his own son and offer him as a burnt offering, Abraham obeys God and accepts that God will not do wrong. Abraham trusts God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind and with all of his strength.

That trust and love is demonstrated by obedience. Abraham assumes and trusts that God will bring Isaac back to life because God had promised that it would be through Isaac and his descendants that all the nations of the world would be blessed. Abraham tells his servants that he and Isaac would go and worship and that they will both come back. Abraham believed that Isaac would also come back, even after being sacrificed, that God would bring Isaac back from the dead.

God's motive in all of this was to test Abraham's heart. Did Abraham fear and love God with all of his heart, mind, soul and strength?

Here we are reminded that the greatest love demands the greatest sacrifice of self. Abraham was ready to sacrifice that which was most precious to him, his son, his only son, whom he loved, to confirm that he loved God with all of his heart and mind and soul and strength.

Here we are reminded of the type of love that God desires from each one of us. And to earn our respect, to earn our reverence, to earn our love, God gave the greatest sacrifice of love that He could make. God sacrificed His Son, His only Son, whom He loved, for each one of us.

Yours in Christ,

Peter Rogers

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