What does it say?

This (Gen 22) is a wonderful picture of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. How many parallels can you spot between Abraham’s offering of Isaac as a living sacrifice and God’s offering of his Son Jesus Christ for us?

The death of Sarah (Gen 23) is stark reminder of human reality. After these many years, Abraham is still a pilgrim and foreigner in the land God gave him. He buys a burial place for Sarah from a local tribe in Canaan.

After Sarah’s death, Abraham sends his trusted servant to take a wife for Isaac from his relatives back in Mesopotamia (Gen 24). This fascinating glimpse into ancient Middle Eastern culture tells how Rebekah comes to Canaan to be Isaac’s wife. Are there any parallels here to dating and marriage in contemporary culture? Great conversation starter for families with teens!

What does it mean?

For us to understand what it meant for God to offer up his Son in our place, God paints the story in words though Abraham’s incredible emotional suffering when asked to offer Isaac as a living sacrifice. The New Testament (Heb 11; Jam 2) explains the symbolism.

God chose Abraham for his mission to redeem and restore the nations. From Job first and now Abraham, we learn that suffering is part of the mission. Today, I find hope and meaning in the example of Job and Abraham. I, too, model God’s truth for others. My suffering has someone else’s name on it.

Abraham’s decision to bury Sarah among the peoples of Canaan illustrates the truth of Hebrews 11:13 that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. As father of the Hebrews, Abraham’s mission is to live, suffer and die among the nations to witness what God will do through Jesus Christ to redeem and restore us all from sin.

The story of Abraham sending his servant to take a bride for Isaac is a beautiful picture of how God’s Spirit today is calling out the church, the “bride of Christ,” from among the nations. Everything we have seen in our Bible reading is a single story of redemption threaded together by God’s love through the lives of real people.

How will I respond?

Who are the people watching my life, sufferings and victories? Today I will pray for strength, growth and maturity to model biblical life, and I will pray for God to do a work of transformation in those who are watching me.