What a prophetic revelation of God’s love this is: a father willing to sacrifice his beloved son -a son willing to submit to that sacrifice. We can only watch in silent amazement.
We know the ending to our story, of course. At the last moment God did provide a sacrifice in the form of a ram which was caught in a nearby bush. Isaac’s life was spared, and God renewed His promise to Abraham. Through Isaac would come a people who were destined to bless all the nations of the earth.
GOD PROVIDES A LAMB FOR US
Two thousand years later we see the same story unfold. Only this time there is no last-minute rescue of the One Who submits His life for sacrifice. We are speaking of God’s Son Who gave Himself as the “Lamb of God.” Abraham and Isaac are a beautiful type of the Father-Son relationship within the Godhead.
The first time an important word or concept appears in Scripture sets a pattern for its further usage. The setting in which that word is found, therefore, carries very special meaning.
With this in mind, it is interesting to discover that the word “love” first occurs in reference to the love of a father for a son. More specifically, it was the love of Abraham for Isaac. “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love” (Gen 22:2).
The word “love” in the New Testament first occurs in the Synoptic Gospels in this notable phrase: “You are My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased!” (Matt 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). If Abraham loved his only son, how much more is God’s love for His one and only Son!
John’s Gospel is the Gospel of God’s love. What is the first reference to God’s great love in this special book? When we see what it is, we are moved to much wonder and humble amazement:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Yes, the Father has ever loved His Son -from all eternity past He has loved Him (John 17:24). Indeed, how much they loved One Another. But we are included in that love too. Jesus tells us that the Father loves us as He loves His Own Son (John 17:23).
It is almost beyond our understanding, but the Father and the Son planned in love for our redemption before the world was even created. They “walked together” in that love for you and me. More than that, they “worked it out together” on the cross.
THE AWFUL PRICE
Many of us have had the false idea that the Father was strangely apart from His Own Son during that horrible hour in which He was “forsaken.” It is true; a Holy God cannot look upon sin. And Christ took our sin upon Himself on the cross. “For He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21).