Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!””Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. from Genesis 22:1-13
I have always considered Abraham’s test one of the most difficult in the Bible. I have to remind myself that God’s ways are not like ours. He is God. He knows His plans. He knows the end from the beginning. One morning I gained a new perspective through Catherine Marshall’s writing in “A Closer Walk.”
Look again at Abraham’s testing. What happened when he reached the designated place on the mountain and laid Isaac on the altar? What did God provide?
And where was that ram as Abraham and Isaac were climbing up one side of the mountain with their bundle of wood for the sacrificial fire?
Catherine Marshall writes, “At the very moment that Abraham was struggling with his thoughts, the ram was climbing up the other side of the Mount . . . No wonder Abraham called that place ‘The LORD will provide’!”
The father and son on their side of the mountain had no idea what was on the other side. They could not see beyond.
Neither can we.
God has promised He will provide a way of escape in our times of temptation; His strength will be sufficient when we are rock-bottom weak; He will never leave us or forsake us; and He is working for good in all things.
These are promises that Christians can hold onto in times of testing . . . waiting . . . pain . . . agony. And, in such times, we also need to pause . . . to remember: Even when we cannot see the “other side our mountain,” we can see the other side of another mountain . . . in another time . . .
That mountain was a hill called Golgotha. Jesus stumbled on its path; a heavy cross-beam across His beaten, bleeding back. That day no angel silenced the mocking crowd as they yelled “Crucify Him.” No voice from heaven cried out “Stop!” when soldiers twisted thorns into head, hammered nails into hands and feet, plunged His Cross into the ground.
No substitute ram was waiting on that mountain. Silence. Darkness. The Father’s wrath was hurled upon His Son. That day, it was God’s Lamb who was slain. Jesus, covered with Sin, on a criminal’s cross, naked and bleeding . . . the Substitute for you and me.
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Jesus was the Substitute . . .
The Lamb . . .
For our iniquities.
Our sins placed on Him –
That His righteousness
might be placed in us.
Lord, when we are facing a time of testing, let us remember that You already know the other side of our mountain and have promised to provide all that is needed. You have already provided a way of escape from sin and eternal death through Your own sacrifice. Our sins paid for by Your blood . . . righteousness given by Your grace . . . The Great Exchange . . . the Other Side of all our mountains.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!