Why had Isaac not been sacrificed? The sins of Abraham and his family were still there. How could a holy and just God overlook them? Well, a substitute was offered, a ram. But was it the ram's blood that took away the debt of the firstborn? No.
Many years later, in those mountains, another firstborn son was stretched out on the wood to die. But there on Mount Calvary, when the beloved son of God cried, "My God, my God - why hast thou forsaken me?" there was no voice from heaven announcing deliverance. Instead, God the Father paid the price in silence. Why? The true substitute for Abraham's son was God's only Son, Jesus, who died to bear our punishment. "For Christ died for sin once for all, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). Paul understood the true meaning of Isaac's story when he deliberately applied its language to Jesus: "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)
Here, then, is the practical answer to our own idolatries, to the "Isaacs" in our lives, which are not spiritually safe to have and hold. We need to offer them up. We need offer them up. We need to find a way to keep from clutching them too tightly, of being enslaved to them. We will never do so by mouthing abstractions about how great God is. We have to know, to be assured, that God so loves, cherishes, and delights in us that we can rest our hearts in him for our significance and security and handle anything that happens in life.
Very cool stuff. I know for me, often I will ask myself how can I be more like Abraham and have his faith. Blah. We are missing a big point there. The story of Abraham and Isaac is a foreshadow of Jesus.
I found it fascinating the idea of one to many and many to one. Isaac, Abraham's only son, through him will have people of many nations. And Jesus, the only Son (John 3:16!), one man saved people of many nations. One to many, many to one :)
Reading this book, it cuts clearly that we all have idols in our heart. I know I do. And it just to show how much grace God has and willing to give up in order redeem us.