Genesis 22:8 and the God-Provided Lamb

David Burchard Exposition Leave a Comment

The audio can be listened to here.

Genesis 22:8

Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

Today has been a uniquely wet, cold, gray day. What have you done with it? I imagine you have some sort of routine. You woke up and did your morning ritual. You did something in the middle of the day. And now you’ve made your way over to this chapel for some good food and Bible study. Other than Bible study, was today any different than yesterday? What about the day before? What are you doing with your life? Does it matter at all?

Energetically believing in leprechauns doesn’t make them real. Energetically believing your life matters doesn’t make it so.

You were born some years ago. You’re going to die soon enough. In the middle, what kind of meaningless routine have you built to fill the time?

If you haven’t noticed yet, you should notice tonight that the Bible isn’t interested in blowing smoke up your arse. It doesn’t tell you that you’re special, to look within and feel good about yourself. You know what the Bible says? Look at your meaningless life. You’re a mist, here, then gone. More than that, you’re a mist that’s decided to pick a fight with your Maker. While you’re not powerful enough to unchain yourself from your own sin, God isn’t chained to anything. He has all the power in the world. And you’ve foolishly spent your meaningless existence sinning against Him.

For that, He will dash you to pieces and damn you to hell, to burn under His wrath forever.

Maybe me saying that makes you mad. So, in the grand defiance of a kid in P5, you’re just going to sit there pretending to listen.

Well, let me tell you. If that’s you, then you’re wasting your time here. Only pretending to listen to God’s Word is no help to a hard-hearted fool on his way to death. The meal we just ate doesn’t make this worth your time. You’ll just be hungry again in a few hours.

You need to listen to God’s Word right now. You need to pay attention. You need to believe what you hear. You need to rely on what you hear. You need to live by it.

Last week, we learned that sinners like us, we who deserve nothing but hell and judgment, can be saved. We can be forgiven our sins. They can be taken off our record so as to no longer be attached to our names. We can be looked at by God as if we’ve lived all our days loving Him with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. We can be justified, declared right with God by God the Judge, simply through believing on Jesus Christ. Trust Jesus and Jesus alone, trust Him, believe on Him, rely on Him only, and not on any of your own efforts or on any mutterings from Catholic priests. Trust Jesus as your Savior and your King, and you will be justified, declared right with God.

But what did Jesus do to make this possible? Plenty of fake religions have fake little gods, castrated and impotent, gods who’ll simply forgive you if you ask, you know, because “love” or something.

But the God of the Bible, the one true and living God, is no fake god. And He certainly ain’t lame or impotent.

He doesn’t simply forgive those who trust Jesus without demanding that their sin be paid for. All sin must be paid for. It must be paid for with death.

God is just.

The verse we read at the beginning is our key verse tonight.

Genesis 22:8

Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

For you to be justified, declared right with God, Jesus must be the object of your faith. That’s because, as we learn in Genesis 22:8, Jesus is the God provided substitutionary sacrifice for all who would believe.

God the Father sent God the Son to become a man and die on the cross, in the place of all who would believe in Him, to pay for the sin of all who would believe in Him.

God provided for Himself the sacrificial lamb. His name is Jesus.

Now, it’s my job to show you how we know that from Genesis 22:8.

Abraham is the speaker in the verse. If you remember, God has saved Abraham and brought him into a good relationship with Himself. He’s promised Abraham to grow his family into a great nation, one that would be more numerous than the stars in the sky, one that would inherit the entire globe as its homeland.

And Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.

And although Abraham was as old as dirt, 100 in dirt years, God provided him the son through whom this promise would be fulfilled. God gave Abraham his only son through Sarah, his wife. And they named him Isaac.

That happened in Genesis 21. Just one chapter later, in our chapter tonight, Genesis 22, God has told Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac.

So, in verse 8, when it says “they walked on together,” they’re walking to the top of the mountain where Abraham’s going to knife his own son as a sacrifice to God. Lambs were regularly killed as sacrifices to God, teaching God’s people that death was the penalty for sin, and that a perfect substitute had to die in their place if they would live as God’s people.

Now, in verse 8, when Abraham and Isaac are walking, Isaac doesn’t know that God has told his dad to sacrifice him. But he knows what’s required for a sacrifice. His dad has taught him. He sees that they have all the supplies except the most important, the lamb.

Verse 8, our verse tonight, is Abraham’s answer to his son, when Isaac asks him about it. And here, Abraham prophesies without realizing it. He looks at his boy, his son whom he loves, and he tells him, “God will provide for himself the sacrifice.” The sacrifice he was about to make was to God. And it would be provided by God.

Abraham was here speaking of Isaac. God had provided Isaac as the sacrifice. God has promised to make Abraham’s family a great nation through Isaac, but was now telling him to kill Isaac. Though this might stump us, and I’m sure it puzzled Abraham, he trusted God to not go back on His word. Hebrews 11:19 tells us, “He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received Isaac back as a type.”

Abraham expects to kill his beloved son, Isaac, and for God to raise Isaac from the dead.

Father and son get to the top of the mountain. Isaac realizes what is happening. He’s willingly bound by his father and lays on the altar of wood, where he will be slain.

And just before the father must plunge his knife into his own son, the Angel of the LORD calls to Abraham from heaven and tells him to say his hand. His faith has been tested and proved. As Abraham looks, he sees that, indeed, God had provided the sacrifice. For there, caught in a thicket of thorns, a ram was stuck.

Abraham sacrificed the ram to God and named the mountain, The LORD Will Provide. In a sense, God gave this father his son back from the dead as He provided the sacrifice for sin.

Generations later, Abraham’s family would build a temple to God on this mountain, where they would time and again sacrifice lambs to God, waiting for the day when God would provide a once for all sacrifice for the sin of the His people.

That day came with the coming of Jesus. John the Baptist declared of him, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus is the God provided Lamb to be sacrificed in the place of His people. Jesus willingly laid on the altar of wood, the cross that would be lifted up on Golgotha, just outside Jerusalem, in view of the Genesis 22 mountain. On the cross, He shed His blood and gave His life, fully satisfying the wrath of God that stood against the people of God. There, the Lamb of God cried, “It is finished.” There, the Father crushed His only begotten Son to bring many sons to glory.

God provided the Lamb for Himself. The Lamb has died on the cross and been received back by the Father, for He rose from the grave on the third day. And this is the reason, this is how you and I can be justified through faith alone. Sin is not left unpunished. It’s not not dealt with. The sin of those who believe is paid for by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Will you believe? Will you look to the death of the Lamb as your only hope of eternal life? Will you be saved?

Or will you forget everything you heard tonight? Will you walk out those doors and go on going on, pissing away the days as you approach judgment? Will you insist on paying for your sin yourself, in hell?

God has provided the Lamb. Receive Him in faith and be saved.

Let’s pray.

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