#ThinkingTuesday – Change your thinking; Change your life.
Upon beginning the research for this, the name sons of slaughter came to mind because it really highlighted the violent nature of sacrifice and made it clear how much it cost God to redeem us from the price of sin but as my study deepened, the discovery of a story of selfless obedience and provision led me to make slaughter – laughter.
Today we’re going to look at Easter in a whole new light. In Genesis 22:1-18, and Mark 15-16, Matthew 27-28, Luke 23-24, John 19-20; we see an amazing story of faith, courage, obedience, and most of all of God’s provision. Easter is about a Father’s provision and a Son’s obedience in the face of something terrifying.
Isaac is a foreshadowing of Christ.
Why did God make Abraham travel to Mt. Moriah when Abraham could have simply sacrificed Isaac his backyard?
No, it’s not because Sarah would have stopped Abraham, it’s because Mount Moriah was the place that God’s ultimate sacrifice would occur. Mount Moriah is the hill complex of which includes Golgotha, the very same hill on which Jesus was sacrificed.
In Genesis 22:2, God says offer “your son, your only son, whom you love”. By this, God was drawing attention to the costliness of the sacrifice He would one day make by offering his only Son for us (John.3:16a). Like Jesus, Isaac was a son of promise, long awaited by his parents. The sons of (s)laughter were born under unnatural circumstances. Isaac was born to a mother who was old and barren while Jesus was born to young woman who was a virgin. Two extreme situations that should have made it impossible to conceive a child, yet with God – all things are possible.
Abraham commanded the servants to remain behind, while He and Isaac walked on together, and this is symbolic of Jesus. Jesus and His father walked together, He did the will of His Father here on earth.
Isaac carried the wood (the means of his execution) to the site of his sacrifice and that is a picture of Jesus on his way to Golgotha carrying his own wood in the shape of a cross — John 19:17. Jesus carried his cross just as Isaac carried the wood meaning that the sons of (s)laughter were accustomed to the burden of suffering. The wood is like a symbol of sin which they both bore on their backs. Now, if Isaac was strong enough to carry the wood for such a large fire, then he was definitely strong enough to resist his aged father – Abraham.
In Isaac’s obedience and nonresistance, we see a picture of Jesus’ willingness and obedience to His Father’s will. Jesus had not just the power but the authority to blow away every one of his executioners—but He didn’t. He voluntarily submitted Himself because He knew, this was the only way we could be redeemed from our debt of sin — John 10:18.
Genesis 22:7 draws a parallel with Luke 23:46. Scripture says, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham saying, “My father.” And Abraham replied, “Here I am, my son.” Again, this points to Jesus who also called out to His father on the cross: And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!”
The reason Isaac is a type of Christ, is that God spared Isaac by putting a ram to be substituted in his place but God did not spare His only son to die in our place, therefore Jesus became our ram, our sacrificial substitute – that’s the story of the sons of (s)laughter, the story behind the scenes of Easter. God promised Abraham that someone would be sacrificed in our place and that promise is fulfilled in Christ’s death on the cross.
Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By Myself I have sworn,” ⌊this is⌋ the Lord’s declaration: “Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gates of their enemies. And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed My command.”
Through their willingness and obedience, Isaac and Jesus go from being Sons of Slaughter, to Sons of Laughter – God said that all the nations of earth will be blessed through Isaac, the first son of slaughter, and so also God says that all the earth is blessed through the final son of slaughter – Jesus Christ. The name Isaac, means laughter and Jesus was slaughtered for our laughter.
A few things we learn from the backstory of Easter:
- Abraham proved his love for God by not withholding Isaac, so also God the father proves His love for us by not withholding Jesus, His only son from us. This teaches us that love is proven by giving. We prove our love for God by not withholding from Him that thing that is most precious to us; we prove our love when we demonstrate that we can surrender what is most precious to us to the will of God.
- The earth was blessed because these sons followed the command and will of their Father. This teaches us that we can bring blessings into our lives and into the lives of others by being obedient and following the will of our Heavenly Father.
- The story of Isaac shows that it was not by his own power that he was spared; nothing he could say or do in that moment would have spared Him from being sacrificed by Abraham. Isaac was not saved from death because he was a good son, rather it was by God’s merciful provision — through this we are reminded that we are not spared by our own “goodness” neither are we justified by the merit of our own works, but by an obediential dependence upon the provision of God on the cross through Christ Jesus.
- Abraham believed the power of God in raising up an Isaac from the dead womb of Sarah; therefore we are to believe this same power exerted in a higher instance, the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
The sons of (s)laughter were obedient unto death, trusting that their good good, fathers would only do to them what was in their best interest. We must ask ourselves – Can we today say we are equally as submissive as they were? Can we give up our lives and desires so that God’s will be done? Are we willing to walk in the footsteps of the sons of (s)laughter?
Here’s something to think about: Maybe If we walked in the footsteps of the sons of slaughter, we’d bring laughter into the lives of everyone we meet.