The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the LORD: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:15-18)
The passage is the culmination of the Abraham and Isaac story. Abraham was tested when God requested that Abraham make a sacrifice of his only son, Isaac. Abraham must have been confused. God had established a covenant with Abraham. He had said that he would “make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great so that you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). Why had God requested that Abraham sacrifice the one and only son that could continue this legacy?
At the last possible minute, the angel of the Lord arrives and lets Abraham know that he does not need to kill his son. God reiterates his promise to Abraham. Because he was willing to sacrifice his one and only son, he will be blessed.
This story foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made for us. Centuries prior to Jesus’ arrival on earth, a similar scenario had occurred. Abraham, Isaac’s father, did not have to sacrifice his only son. By contrast, God paid the ultimate sacrifice for us all through Jesus’ sacrifice.
During this season of Advent, we anticipate and prepare for Christ’s arrival on earth. However, this was only the beginning of the story. Christ came to earth ultimately to serve as the sacrifice for us. Through this sacrifice, we are blessed.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing us beyond measure. We are grateful for your coming to earth and paying the ultimate sacrifice for us. Amen