by Pastor Greg Laurie
No Greater Love Than This
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." - John 3:16
The gripping story of Abraham and his beloved son, Isaac provides a classic picture of God's perspective of the cross. Isaac was God's promised son to Abraham, a symbol of the covenant between Abraham and God. Abraham was so delighted by his new son that he named him Isaac, which means laughter. And laughter is what Isaac brought into the home of Abraham and his wife, Sarah. But years later, laughter turned into shock and fear when God came to Abraham and said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering . . ." (Genesis 22:2). There was no greater sacrifice that God could have requested from Abraham. Isaac was the joy of Abraham's life.
In obedience, Abraham took Isaac up to the place of sacrifice. With no animal in sight to offer, Isaac asked, "Dad, where is the animal for the sacrifice?" And Abraham prophetically replied, "My son, God will provide Himself a sacrifice." God indeed provided the sacrifice, as an angel cried out, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me" (Genesis 22:12). Then out from behind the thicket, a ram appeared for Abraham to offer to God.
The story of Abraham and Isaac stands as a picture of what would occur on the cross. God provided Himself a sacrifice. But unlike the story of Abraham and Isaac, God did not provide for Himself a sacrifice. He provided Himself as a sacrifice. God Himself became the sacrifice for our sins when He gave His only begotten Son to die for us.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.