I would imagine most people have heard about the Mark Burnett mini-series, The Bible, which started last night on the History Channel and will air for the next five weeks, through Easter. My church is using segments from this as sermon illustrations to go alongside the preaching this whole month.
Yesterday’s segment was from the Genesis 22 passage which describes God’s test of Abraham’s commitment by asking him to lay his son on the altar. I was in tears as I watched the agony on his face, knowing that I couldn’t imagine the pain of losing my own child at my own hands. My children are probably the most precious things in my life and I would give anything for their protection. Of course, watching or reading it now, we know what God has in mind and that He will provide a different sacrifice. Yet still the emotions are strong as we watch Abraham prepare to obey.
As the moment passed and I thank God for providing an alternative, and for not calling me to the same test, I suddenly realize that the ram caught in the briers was just the first, and only a temporary, alternative. Thousands of years later, God provided a permanent sacrifice when He lovingly, though I’m sure painfully, gave His Son. Not just for me, but for all of us.
I’m looking forward to watching this mini-series and being reminded over and over again how God has orchestrated history to show His love to His people. It is His-story, after all!