The Substitute

God said what?
 
He told his servant Abraham to go and sacrifice his son, only son, Isaac, the one whom he loved.
 
And did he? Is that what God requires? Why would God do that? And why would Abraham obey?
If the conversation about Genesis 22 is challenging, imagine how difficult the conversation between father and son was between aged Abraham and Isaac, his teenage son. As they walked for three days to the hill of the Lord:
 
Isaac: Father, where is the sacrifice?  
 
Abraham: The Lord will provide, son.

 
And indeed, the Lord did provide—for Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and us!

In Genesis 22, we enter one of the richest passages in the Bible. Every verse says something to us about God, his demands on humanity, his provision for humanity, and the pathway of death that leads to life.

Indeed, if you are feeling tried and tested and on the verge of despair and death, Genesis 22 is for you. In looking at Genesis 22 this Sunday, we not only see an incredible moment in history, we also see a picture of what Christ’s cross accomplished and how we are to carry our cross in obedience to Jesus.

To prepare for Sunday, take time to read Genesis 22. Read it slow. Read it a few times. See what is there, and pray that God might speak to us this Sunday as we consider these words together. As God allows we will gather on Sunday at 8:30am and 11:00am to dig into this glorious passage.
May the Lord give us faith as we behold the way he provides salvation for those who trust in him.
 
For His Glory and your joy,
Pastor David
 
 
Questions
 
1.    Before this week, how have you thought about this passage? Has it been a source of comfort? Concern? Something else?
2.     What does it mean that God tested Abraham? How is this unique to Abraham? And how is typical of all believers?
3.     What is the arrangement of the text? How does seeing the structure help you see the drama? Why is important to slow down to see the drama in Scripture?
4.     What are some of types and shadows that point to Christ? How do those types help us understand Christ’s cross?
5.     How do we know that the connections from Genesis 22 to Christ are legitimate? What if we don’t make those connections? What are some of New Testament texts that help us make those connections?
6.     What does Genesis 22 teach us about God and his provision?
7.     What does Genesis 22 teach us about the gospel?
8.     How does the experience of Abraham and Christ teach us to carry our cross? What does Genesis 22 teach us about discipleship?
9.     How are you being tested today? How does Genesis 22 bolster your faith? How can we pray for you?

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David Schrock