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  The Great Bible Story #18
The greatest sacrifice of all

Jacob Ninan
Some years went by and Isaac became a young teenager who was Abraham's beloved. One day God tested Abraham by asking him to take Isaac and sacrifice him on a mountain He would show him in the land of Moriah. By this time Abraham knew God so well that he didn't even question Him or argue. He got up early in the morning, got two of his servants, cut some wood for the sacrifice and started going towards the mountain God directed him to. It took them three days to reach the foot of that mountain. There he told the servants to wait, saying that he would go up, worship God and return, and asked Isaac to go up with him carrying the wood. Abraham himself walked up carrying a knife and fire.

On the way up, Isaac asked his father where the lamb was for the sacrifice because they had only the wood and the fire with them. Abraham's cryptic reply was that God would provide the lamb.

When they reached the top, Abraham arranged the wood, and then tied up Isaac and put him on the wood. Then he raised the knife and was about to strike when and angel of God told him to stop. God said that now He knew how Abraham valued Him more than his own son, even though he was his only son. God showed him a ram caught by its horns in the nearby bushes, and Abraham took it and offered it in worship as a burnt offering to God. Abraham named that place as 'Jehovah-jireh' meaning 'God will provide'.

Of course, God was only testing Abraham and never intended that Abraham should offer a human sacrifice as might have been common in those days. God did provide a 'lamb' for this sacrifice, as Abraham said to Isaac. But Abraham's words had a prophetic meaning in that one day God was going to offer His only Son as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of the world -- our sins. This was the greatest sacrifice of all, demonstrating how much He loves us. Jesus was the Lamb without blemish, sinless as the Son of Man and perfect as the Son of God. The picture of Abraham offering up his beloved son as a sacrifice stands for that of God the Father offering His beloved Son for us. This was God's plan to save mankind, which He made even before He had created the world!

The place where Abraham made the sacrifice was one of the mountains in the land of Moriah. The temple of Solomon was later built on Mount Moriah. Jesus was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem, away from the Temple, on Golgotha (or Calvary). This may well have been the place of Abraham's sacrifice.

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Comfort & Counsel