The Messiah Is Our Lamb
Even in ancient times people knew that worship of God involved the death of an innocent animal. Even as the first family was being formed God explained the close connection between sin and the necessity of shedding blood for atonement (Gen. 4:1-5). But what had not been made clear was the connection between the worshipper and the animal being offered. When Abraham obeyed God and placed his son Isaac on an altar, he did not lack faith. In fact, according to Hebrews 11:19, Abraham was so confident in God’s promises toward Isaac that he was certain his son would be raised from the dead if necessary. But God never intended for Isaac to die. At the last moment a ram was given to take his place on the altar. In the same way, Christ came on that first Christmas to be “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Parting thought: When it takes a long time to fulfil a promise, it is sometimes helpful to let the promisee know you haven’t forgotten. This is partly what God was doing in this little vignette with Abraham.