“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?’ Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ And the two of them went on together.” Genesis 22:7-8 (NIV)
I don’t like suspense. I don’t like not knowing what is going to happen. I would much rather know how the story is going to end. Sometimes we can forget when we are reading the Bible that these are real people who did not know the end of the story. They couldn’t read Scripture and see how everything was going to turn out. They were living their lives, just like us, and they had to trust that God was going to be faithful.
I love that Isaac felt free enough to ask his father a question. It shows what a loving relationship they had. He wasn’t afraid. He trusted Abraham. He was willing to go along with whatever his father said, even when he did not understand.
Abraham was teaching Isaac to trust God. He was learning by example. Isaac saw that his father trusted God to provide. As a result, Isaac also learned to trust God. He was learning that even when you cannot see the end result, God will lead you step by step. You don’t need to see the end of the story to obey and take the next step God has revealed.
I heard these words in a song yesterday. “I don’t need to see tomorrow’s plans. I just need to trust that You are working.” (If I Have You by Vertical Church Band/Mia Fieldes) How powerful! Abraham did not know what God had planned, but he trusted that God was working. He was willing to obey because he trusted that God was faithful.
Jesus also trusted his Father. He was willing to not just ask where the lamb was for the burnt sacrifice, but to actually BE the Lamb! He also felt enough freedom to ask his Father a question. As he hung on the cross, “Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, Lama sabachthani?’ which mean, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” (Matthew 27:46)
Hours earlier in the garden, Jesus had shown his willingness to obey God no matter what. “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) He was willing to obey because he trusted that God was faithful.
We don’t always think about the humanity of Jesus. It’s hard to wrap our minds around the truth that Jesus is fully God and fully man. But I wonder if his humanness ever got in the way. I wonder how much he had to battle human thoughts and concerns like we do. Do you think he ever wondered if God would actually raise him from the dead? Do you think the thought ever passed through his mind that if he willingly went to the cross, that might be the end? Jesus had to trust that God, his Father, was faithful. He had to believe that if he went through the horror of the cross, that God would be faithful to raise him from the dead.
Personal Reflection: What area of your life do you need to take the next step and trust that God is going to be faithful?