Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar when the voice of the Lord stopped him. God said, “Do not harm the boy. Now I know that you fear God because you have not kept back your only son.”
Just then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns. He took the ram and sacrificed it to the Lord on the altar he had made.
Abraham called that place “The Lord Will Provide,” and he and his son returned to his waiting servants.
What is a sacrifice?
A sacrifice is a costly gift—something that is precious and means a lot to the one making the sacrifice; as it did to the woman who poured expensive perfume on Jesus (Mark 14:3). A sacrifice could also be something one cannot see, like giving up a privilege or right. You could sacrifice your time by spending a whole afternoon looking after a younger brother or sister.
Even though Abraham had been asked to do a very difficult thing, his love for God, and his complete trust in Him, made him willing to show total obedience.
In Old Testament times, an animal was killed and put on a pile of large stones, called an altar. The sacrificed animal would then be burned.
A sacrifice for sin is a very important sacrifice, and later on you will see how Jesus became a sacrifice for our sin. Just as Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac, so God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to be a sacrifice for us. But unlike with Isaac, God did not spare Jesus, but sacrificed Him to die for our sins.
Verse for today
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10