12 Nov 2014
If you were asked, what is the most important issue in all of time and eternity how would you answer? If we were to turn to scripture for direction it would become clear that the most important issue is where we stand with respect to Jesus Christ.
God’s plan included calling a Nation to Himself, using a man named Abram. He promised Abram a son and changed his name to Abraham. But God wanted us to know to the best of our ability how precious this promised son was to become to Abraham, so God promised Abram a son when he was 75 years old and his wife Sarai was 65. They had been childless up to this time.
When God promised that Abraham would have a son it seemed so preposterous that Sarai laughed at the promise of God. But God always does what He says He will do. Yet it did not happen immediately. No, God waited twenty five years to provide a son the Abraham and Sarah. Upon his birth this son was very precious to his elderly parents. When Isaac was perhaps in his early teens, God spoke again to Abraham and said:
Genesis 22:1-2 (NASB77)
1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
2 And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
Can you imagine this situation: an only son, a promised son, one who had been promised for twenty-five years? How could any son be more precious than was Isaac to his father Abraham? God in His sovereign plan had arranged for us to see the picture of what is the most important issue in His mind for all of time and eternity. Was it the sacrifice of Isaac on a mountain in the land of Moriah? No, but this test, the call from God to sacrifice Isaac was a picture, a preview of the greatest sacrifice this earth and heaven has ever known, the sacrifice of the greatly loved Son of God. God tried to insure that we did not miss this connection. He set it up perfectly even to the point that His Son was in truth the Lamb caught in a thicket of God’s own making, on the mountain of God.
There is some archaeological evidence to suppose that the place of the crucifixion of Jesus was at the summit of Mt. Moriah, probably near the present-day Damascus Gate and the Garden Tomb which would of course be a literal fulfillment of Abraham's offering of Isaac when God said, "On the mount of the Lord it [the final offering for sin] will be provided."
God spared Isaac and substituted a Lamb. God has spared you and substituted a Lamb, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
Genesis 22:3-8 (KJV)
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
God had been preparing Abraham for perhaps over one hundred years for this very day. The day that he would build an altar designed to sacrifice his only son.
Genesis 22:9-10 (KJV)
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
Isaac was promised. Isaac was long awaited. Isaac was a dearly loved and precious son. Isaac was a nearly perfect picture of the singular Savior that was promised
This promised Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord, was not spared by the voice of God. For Him, God provided, for a brief time, only silence and separation as the sin of the entire world came to rest on His bloody shoulders. God gave us His Son. He gave us the most precious thing in His possession.
Isaiah 53:5-6 (NASB77)
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
If God gave us that which is most precious to Him what should we do with the gift of life that we have received? Jesus said to some of His soon to be disciples, follow me and I will make you to become fishers of men. These men followed Jesus and He did exactly as He said, He made them to become fishers of men.
Luke 10:2-3 (NASB77)
2 And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
3 "Go your ways; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
Today Jesus is still calling men and women to follow Him. He is still in the business of making fishers of men. He has told us that the harvest is white but the labor force is too small. He has strongly called on us to pray for the Lord of the harvest to thrust out laborers into His harvest. This is not just any harvest. It is the most important harvest in all of time and eternity.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB77)
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Will you pray? Will you obey? Will you go? Will you follow? Are you willing to allow Jesus to make you a disciple who makes disciples?
Please, let’s help each other remember …. Philippians 4:13 (NASB77)
13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.