We know the story. Old man Abraham is tested by God. He takes Isaac, his beloved son, to Mount Moriah, where he plans to sacrifice him. Isaac carries the wood while Abraham carries the knife and the fire. Abe straps Isaac onto the altar and raises the knife to kill his son. But at the last second, the angel of the Lord says, “Stop!” Abraham passes the test, God provides a lamb for the sacrifice and Isaac lives a long life.
How did Abraham feel as he carried that sharp knife, knowing it would soon bear the blood of his son? He fully intended to use it, to obey God even when it meant the death of his favorite heir. God spared him that horror, and Abraham’s faith was rewarded with a promise of descendants that numbered as many as the stars of the heavens and the sand on the seashore.
Fast forward several hundred years and we see another obedient servant carrying a weapon of death. A cross, a young man savagely beaten who trudges through the streets of Jerusalem until he can no longer walk. He staggers and another man is chosen to carry the beam to the altar of sacrifice – the hill of Golgotha. Strangely enough, the place of Christ’s sacrifice lies on the same ridge of 40 acres near Mount Moriah.
Two stories and two weapons, but a great difference in the final outcome. In the Abraham story, the weapon he carried never bore the blood of Isaac. In the second story, the weapon of the cross was covered by the blood of God’s son, Jesus. One story foreshadows the other with the same plot lines: the love of a father, obedience and redemption.
In Abraham’s story, the son continues to live. In the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, we live.