Day 6

Jesus Is The True & Better Isaac

from the Jesus Is The True & Better Isaac reading plan

Genesis 22:1-22, John 3:16-17, 1 John 4:7-9

BY Russ Ramsey

Are you waiting on God to do something impossible?

Abraham and Sarah named their son Laughter (Isaac) because he was the result of an impossible promise come true. God’s first call on Abraham was to go to the land God would show him, where God would make Abraham and Sarah into a great nation. The only problem was they were unable to have children.

Still they obeyed, trusting that God would somehow bring to pass what made no sense otherwise. It took thirty years before God gave them Isaac. Thirty years of following, of wandering, of trying other schemes—like having Abraham take Sarah’s servant Hagar as a surrogate.

What need or desire are you waiting on God to meet? We live in such culture of immediacy that we are used to doing and having things instantly. But Abraham and Sarah had to wait thirty years for this promised heir. Without Isaac, there could be no kingdom from Abraham’s line. There would be no one to father the next generation. But there was nothing they could do to hurry God. Nor can we.

Isaac was more than the fulfillment of a promise God made to Abraham and Sarah. He was a miracle, an unlikely heir to an unimaginable kingdom. But then…

Then God asked Abraham to take his only son up on a hill to offer him up. The son carried on his back the beams upon which he would be sacrificed, and as they made their way to the top of the hill, the son said to his father, “I see the wood for the offering, but where is the sacrifice?” Imagine the pain, confusion, and desperate faith Abraham must have felt in that moment. God had promised to bless the entire world through this miraculously born son, and now He was asking Abraham to offer him up as a sacrifice.

What else could Abraham do but trust that God had a plan? But it seemed like such a hard plan. Abraham assumed, Hebrews tells us, that God would raise Laughter from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). But still, Abraham had to reckon with the fact that he would have to experience sacrificing his only son. If he followed through, that pain would follow him forever.

But just as Abraham was about to go through with it, God sent angels to stop him from bringing down the knife and He supplied a ram caught in a nearby thicket as a substitute.

What God did with Isaac is not what He did with His own Son. With Jesus, God did not stay the executioner’s hand. As with Isaac, the sacrificial site was up on a hill. And like Isaac, Jesus carried the wood for the sacrifice on His back. But unlike Isaac, Jesus laid down His life.

Here is the main difference between Isaac and Jesus: Had Isaac died, the promise of a nation belonging to God would have died with him. The line of Abraham would have ended. But had Jesus not died, there would be no Kingdom at all.

Jesus’s substitutionary death opens the way for people across every tribe, tongue, and nation to be brought into the family of God. He was our sacrifice, caught in the thicket of Roman ambition and Pharisaical self-righteousness. By His death, we find life.

God tested Abraham’s love for Him by calling Abraham to trust Him with the precious treasure of his son Isaac. But God demonstrates His love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Whatever it is you are waiting for, hear the promise that comes from Jesus as our true and better Isaac: “He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32).

written by Russ Ramsey

Post Comments (36)

36 thoughts on "Jesus Is The True & Better Isaac"

  1. Paul Bennett says:

    The Gospel must be fulfilled. Unlike a novel, wherein we are reading and hoping for this outcome…. The Gospel is set in stone. It must happen.

  2. Paul Bennett says:

    God desires us to come to Him. God provides everything we need.

  3. Paul Bennett says:

    Trust and obey

  4. Paul Bennett says:

    We are full of sin and doubt and fear and lust. Our challenge is to die to ourselves so that we may fully live through Jesus.

  5. Paul Bennett says:

    Constantly and unending.

  6. Mike DeAlto says:

    We desire immediate results for a lot of things. When we have to wait or trust God for the impossible it tests the character of our faith.

  7. Mike DeAlto says:

    Sometimes God chooses to work slowly to unveil his plan. He may ask us to do something that may seem impossible or difficult in our eyes like he did to Abraham.

  8. Mike DeAlto says:

    Christ was the perfect substitute that was not stopped from being sacrificed. This was because of the great love God has for us. That love reminds us to be patient while we wait for the impossible to happen in our life.

  9. Mike DeAlto says:

    By seeking to be more patient in my life and not wanting something new to happen all the time. I need to trust God has me where he wants and I need to make the most of living for his glory.

  10. Mike DeAlto says:

    For the Lord to teach me to have stronger trust in his plans. That I would see Christ’s death on the cross as a constant reminder for the love God has for us and how he has a good plan.

  11. Ryan Schilter says:

    We have to have the courage to follow gods plan. Abraham had the courage. He was going to sacrifice his only son to follow gods plan, and because he did the end result was amazing. Men are strong in their faith, we just have to be willing to demonstrate our fate.

  12. Ryan Schilter says:

    I will follow gods plan for me. I will not second guess what he is telling me. I will look for his signs and never regret what he has had me do. I will follow the lord with a bold faith.

  13. Ryan Schilter says:

    God is always there for you. His plan for us might not always be clear to us but if you follow it and believe in his plan the outcome with be like nothing you could ever imagine. But you have to fight through the struggle of confusion that you deal with if you don’t understand the plan. God will always love you, which is why he sent his only son as a sacrifice to wash away all our sins.

  14. Ryan Schilter says:

    God follows through with everything that he says. God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son but he also told him that he would give him a son which would create his kingdom. God likes to test man, but if you follow his word you will find something even better than you already had

  15. Ryan Schilter says:

    Lord please allow me to follow you with a bold faith. Allow me to go through every day and never second guess what you plan is for me and my family. Guide me in the right direction and help me with all the tough choices. I trust in your plan.

    In your name I pray,


  16. Justin says:

    It’s really BIG and was set in motion long before Christ came to earth. The gospel is much bigger than just Jesus died for you on the cross, it spans all of time, history and humanity and is unfinished

  17. Justin says:

    Gods way/plan can be hard &
    confusing at times.

  18. Justin says:

    We have an incredible ability to go places that are hard and/or near impossible when we follow God

  19. Justin says:

    Unsure – maybe be quiet and listen to see if I can hear what God is saying to me

  20. Justin says:

    Brief, frequent, and intensely.

  21. Jonathan Newman says:

    Waiting not on my expectations for my life circumstances to be a certain way, but waiting on God for joy, especially during this Christmas season.

  22. Jonathan Newman says:

    We impatiently look for our desires to be fulfilled in ways that are unhealthy and idolatrous. Even when we look to God, we expect Him to meet our desires in our time and in how we envision it.

  23. Jonathan Newman says:

    There is a beautiful parallel between the story of Isaac and the life of Jesus. God showed us what the agony and cost of a father sacrificing his son is like and then did a dramatic reversal in inserting his own son into that same story but changing the outcome. He was the sacrifice that was infinitely costly to God but had to be made so we could have life and so he could establish his kingdom “bringing many sons to glory.”

  24. Jonathan Newman says:

    God works in his own time and his own way, but he is faithful to glorify himself and to meet my soul’s every need, even if it means refining me.

  25. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Thankful and grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus paid, and that He, unlike Isaac, was fully sacrificed.

  26. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Man is helpless and needed a way for our sins to be covered.

  27. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    God gave us His only son, His treasure, to be the atoning sacrifice and be the way for us to be one with the Father. The Gospel is radical.

  28. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    God spared nothing to provide a way for us to be one with Him again.

  29. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Father, teach me to cherish greater daily what your Son did on the cross for me, and that I would praise you out of the gratitude of my heart the rest of my days.

  30. Blake MacNelly says:

    The gospel offers redemption and reconciliation to us.

    The gospel was difficult. Christ death was not easy to go through. It was sorrowful. The separation of Christ from God due to our sin was terrible.

    The gospel is permanent. It is offered to all out of love. It takes one from a perished life to an eternal one.

    The gospel is timeless. It was in place by faith before the cross and before Joseph and Mary were alive.

  31. Blake MacNelly says:

    Man is in desperate need of Jesus. It is incredible that God knows this and loves us so much that He died for us.

    Man is capable of walking with God. We can walk and listen to Him and obey Him. We are sinners and will sin, but in Christ we can walk with Him.

    Man plays a Role. Once again, this theme comes into play. The idea that we each have a role to play in this brilliant rescue story.

  32. Blake MacNelly says:

    I need to think about the passage of Genesis. It’s hard for me to understand why God needed to test Abraham in that way if He knew His heart already. I need to spend time there.

    God is love. He did not replace Christ with a lamb or another animal. He allowed His son to die…so that we can live.

    God is so so so purposeful in all that He does. Intentionality and vision are present in all of His words and deeds. Seeing His process in Genesis is so interesting.

    He is in communication with His people. He does not sit idle and quiet but speaks and invites us to listen and speak in return, saying “here I am” or “here am I”.

    God provides. He provides in Jesus a way to Him, forgiveness of sins and righteousness that is not our own but Christ’ given to us. He provides us all the spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1; Romans 8).

  33. Blake MacNelly says:

    I will pray for clarity to understand the word and its truths.

    Scripture memory.

    Sharing the gospel with others

    Patiently waiting and praying for guidance and wisdom

    Expecting God to act.

    I want to serve and love others. Freely and compassionately and sacrificially.

    I want to find out my passion, my calling, without it being my story. Selflessness is a spiritual gift that comes with discipline.

  34. Blake MacNelly says:

    Pray for wisdom and clarity as I read the word.

    Pray for honesty and authenticity in my inward being and outward appearance

    Pray for confession and repentance to be a constant role as I spiritually breathe

    Pray for a loving and compassionate heart

    Pray for zeal for You

    Pray for the spirits help in fighting the flesh.

    Pray for intercession and protection from my flesh

    Pray for a call, a passion, a vision.

    Pray for intimacy with You.

    Peace and rest.

    Patience and faith

  35. Taylor Homeyer says:

    I loved this lesson. This lesson shows a deeper measure to how the Bible shows a complete story of the redemptive power of Christ. This time Isaac was to be sacrificed to obey the Lord. But Jesus proves to be a better sacrifice because of how he provides for all of us. So deep and powerful.

  36. Taylor Homeyer says:

    Could I ever have the faith that Abraham has to sacrifice my son if he called me to do so? I guess now there is no need because the Lord gave His Son Jesus to be the sacrifice for all sin.

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