Good Friday. It was the last Passover before His death. Jesus held Himself in His own hands and broke what He held as bread for the world. No one made Him do it. He laid His life down of His own accord, and when He was ready, He took it up again.
When Abraham was told by God that he must sacrifice the son of his old age he must have turned pale (Genesis 22).
The spot designated for the sacrifice, Mount Moriah, was some distance away and so we read that, “Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and he prepared the wood for the burnt-offering.”
Abraham did not leave the saddling of the donkey to his servants on this occasion. He laid on the beast the wood for the fire himself. With these very sticks the boy would be burned. At that moment everything must have died in Abraham: His wife Sarah, his family, his home, Isaac, everything.
This is what it is to sit in sackcloth and ashes. If Abraham had known that this was only a trial, he would not have been tried. But Abraham was tried.
When they arrived at the mount Abraham built an altar. He bound his son and laid him on the wood.
Never in history was there such obedience, save only in Christ. The father raised his knife. The boy bared his throat.
If God had slept an instant, the boy would have been slain. Could you have watched? Can your thoughts even follow or comprehend the scene? The boy was as a lamb for the slaughter.
But God was watching.
Then cried an Angel of the Lord, “Abraham, Abraham!” and divine Majesty stepped in, saving this son from his hour of death.
The trial of Abraham halted and the son was spared. A lamb was found in the thicket to take his place. But that lamb would go on to foreshadow the Son whom God would not spare.
When the Father laid the sins of the world upon Jesus Christ, there was none to stay His hand, none to say, “enough!”
When the Father handed His Son over to wicked men who thrashed Him with whips and tore at His flesh, no one said, “stop”.
And when the Son was pierced through with thorns and nails and humiliated before the world, nobody cried out, “Abraham, Abraham!”
No. They mocked and they jeered until the breath left Him and he died. His body, broken for you.
In the gospel, a lamb dies and we are invited to eat that we might have life.
This, the Father calls love.
We say, “In the midst of life we die.” But God’s answer in the death of His Son is, “No, in the midst of death we live.”