“God who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?” Romans 8:32
In this verse Paul alludes to the famous story from the Old Testament where God calls on Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. If you don’t know or don’t remember, Abraham and his wife Sarah longed for a child but couldn’t have one. God gives Abraham and Sarah a son and says that through their family the world will be blessed. Fast forward a few years and now God calls on Abraham to sacrifice the very son he longed for, the very son who would be the first of a long line of descendants. But right before Abraham sacrifices Isaac, God intervenes and stops it. Abraham’s faith in listening to God is fundamental to his relationship with God. Abraham’s obedience to God’s command is seen as key to this covenant promise between God and Abraham.
This challenging passage of near sacrifice is a stumbling block for many. You don’t have to go far to hear someone challenge the goodness of God based on this story. You might find yourself challenged, wondering, “If God was going to intervene, why did God ask in the first place?”
The unbelievable act of sacrificing one’s own son should be shocking. It’s a terrible position to be placed in. And on this side of the resurrection, that’s kind of the point.
God intervened and Isaac was spared. Fast forward to Good Friday and we see God did the very thing he did not require of Abraham.
Today let’s remember that God understands exactly what we are struggling with right now. God understands it because God came into this world as a human being and experienced the pain and trouble that comes from living in a broken world. God gave of Himself what he never required of anyone else.
Today, let’s trust in the God who gives.