I wonder what it would have been like to be Isaac.
Heading up that mountain with his father. Carrying the wood but noticing no lamb.
Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Genesis 22:7
I have no doubt Abraham and Isaac were close. Abraham had waited years for Isaac. He was the promised son.
When he realized that he was the lamb to be sacrificed, he allowed himself to be bound and laid on the altar.
There’s no indication of a struggle.
Isaac submitted to his father’s wishes. He trusted his dad knew best.
We know how the story turns out.
God did provide the lamb.
Abraham’s knife went into the air, but God stopped it, and Abraham’s knife did not fall on Isaac. Instead, God provided another lamb–a ram in the thicket.
Later, God provided yet another Lamb. This time when the knife went into the air, God did not stop it. The knife was allowed to fall on Jesus–the Promised One–His one and only Son. Like Isaac, Jesus trusted His Father. He trusted his Dad knew best. He willingly laid himself on the altar—that cross—and died.
He died because He loved His father.
He died because He loves us.
He died so we could live.
I think the Lord is still looking for Isaac’s.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
What does it mean to deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and follow Him?
Everyday I must deny myself. Live by His agenda, not mine. Choose to follow Him and trust Him. Isaac didn’t lead Abraham up the mountain. Abraham led Isaac. Isaac willingly followed—bearing the wood–his cross.
Denying ourselves really shows up is in relationships. That’s where the rub is. The constant battle of putting other’s needs above our own. That’s what Jesus did! He came not to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28).
It’s God’s upside down kingdom.
The first will be last (Matthew 19:20).
The greatest will be the servant (Matthew 23:11).
To save your life you must lose it (Luke 9:24).
What if it’s in the dying to ourselves that we learn how to truly live?
Because when we die to ourselves, that’s when He lives in us.
I don’t know about you, but my life is a lot better when it’s less about me and a whole lot more about God and others.
Jesus died so we can live. Now it’s our turn to die so He can live in and through us.
We need more Isaac’s!