The Bible Miniseries Part 1

The Bible Part 1

Monday, March 4, 2013

6:22 AM

Genesis 22:8 - "Abraham said, 'God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.' So they went both of them together.


The Bible miniseries debuted last night on the History Chanel.  I was fairly skeptical of it because many times when secular TV puts out a story about Jesus or the Bible it is usually skewed toward disproving their reality.  However many orthodox theologians and people that I respect were encouraging people to watch it.  So I did, well at least I watched part of it, it was pretty busy at our household with our 3 kids.

I will admit that the scene with Abraham and Isaac was extremely gripping.  The writers of the film took a little bit of artistic license with the story, in that the sacrifice was not performed as close to the camp as they had it, but still it was very moving to me as a father.

God had of course asked Abraham to go and sacrifice his son Isaac on the mountain.  Abraham very reluctantly agreed and walked in obedience to God.  The actor who played Abraham showed the pain and the agony that the real Abraham must have felt in a very powerful way.  As a father I felt his pain. The agony, the questioning, the pain that he felt in doing what he did.  You could see it in his face as he bound his son, placed him on the altar, and raised the knife.  I was reminded of what this event must have been like and I was reminded of the depth of Abraham's faith.  He was walking in obedience to God, yes it was painful, yes it caused him questions and yes he was in agony, but he was still walking in obedience.  The film showed that in a beautiful way.

Abraham also believed that God would step in and provide a sacrifice. In fact he tells Isaac, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering."  He believed that God was going to step in and that God was going to provide but as he raised the knife on the miniseries you could see the pain and doubt in his eyes.

And then the shouted whisper, "Abraham" from the angel of the Lord, and Abraham put the knife down and God provided.  What an act of faith and obedience.  Perhaps it was this story that the hymn writer had on their mind when they wrote the hymn "Trust and Obey," for that is exactly what Abraham did.  What a story, what faith, what obedience.  That's why the Bible says, "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness."  Abraham trusted God even in the pain and the doubt and his trust led to action. 

However the faith and obedience of Abraham are only a part of the story.  The main part of the story is really about Jesus.  Abraham didn't have to sacrifice his son, because God was faithful and God provided the sacrifice.  Abraham didn't have to sacrifice his son, but God did.  God the Father willingly sacrificed His  son on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our sins. 

Isaac in the Old Testament wasn't willing to be sacrificed and who can blame him.  Jesus however was.  He willingly obeyed the Father and willingly gave His life on the cross.  He said, "No one takes my life from me but I willingly lay it down."  "Greater love has no man than this that He lay down His life for His friends."  Jesus laid down His life for us, even when we weren't His friends but were because of our sins, His enemies.   That is grace.  That is the love of God in action. 

He provided the sacrifice so we didn't have to.  He went to the cross so we wouldn't have to.  He propitiated our sins and gave something that we all need and that is forgiveness.

As a father the part of the Bible miniseries on Abraham and Isaac was hard to watch.  It was painful.  I couldn't imagine being in that place.    As we watched I just wanted to grab my children and put them on my lap and hold them.  But then as I realized what God did, in sending and sacrificing His own son I just wanted to grab my children and hold them and pray.  Thanking God, the Father for what He did for us.  Thanking God for Jesus, who died so that we could know Him and so that we could have our sins forgiven.  As a father that is my number one prayer, that my sons know the Father who was willing to sacrifice His son so that my sons could be saved.