Not only that, but it reveals something about Yahweh and salvation. When Isaac asks, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7) Abraham responds, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son (Genesis 22:8). And that’s exactly what Yahweh does: “And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” (Genesis 22:13)
Back in chapter 3, we learned that Yahweh accepts the sacrifice of a substitute for the life of a sinner. Now in chapter 22 we see that Yahweh Himself provides the substitute.
Much later, in the New Testament, in the letter to the Romans, we’ll see that God provides the substitute again: “Christ Jesus, whom God put forth as a propitiation” (Romans 3:24, 25; a propitiation is a particular kind of sacrifice). Jesus Christ is the Sacrifice provided by God for us, the perfect Substitute for our sin.
And this observation answers the final questions from our blog entry yesterday. What happened to Yahweh’s righteousness? Did He throw it out in favor of grace through His covenant? No. His justice demands that the unjust (like us) either die or present the acceptable sacrifice of a substitute for our sins… and His grace provides it: Jesus Christ crucified, the perfect sacrifice. That’s how the justice of God is vindicated, and at the same time, ministered by grace to the sinner who does not deserve grace. God Himself demands the sacrifice and simultaneously by grace, provides it.
Have you accepted as your own the only sacrifice provided by God?