"The Father, the Son, the Sacrifice!" Genesis 22:1-14

April 03, 2022
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

On Mount Moriah Abraham beheld Jesus' day - the day of our salvation! Sermon text: Genesis 22:1-14. Sermon Theme: "The Father, The Son, The Sacrifice!" Preached for Judica, 5th Sunday in Lent, 3-April-2022, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

Judica, Fifth Sunday In Lent                   3-April-2022
Sermon Text: Genesis 22:1-14
Sermon Theme: “The Father, The Son, The Sacrifice!” by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. Joh 8:47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." Our Lord Jesus preaches in the Temple during the festival of booths. It was a week when the Jews would camp out around Jerusalem. Living in tents called to their remembrance the forty years their ancestors sojourned in the wilderness. They had refused to hear God’s Word preached by Moses. Rebelling against God’s promise that generation choose to die in the wilderness. Satan snatched God’s Word from them tempting them to trust in what they saw, what they could do, rather than trusting God’s promise and ability to deliver them from their enemies.
      The feast of booths reminds us that we are only pilgrims and strangers in this world. We have no abiding city here. Of Abraham and Sarah scripture testifies, Heb 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (14) For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. (15) And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. (16) But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” You may have grown up in Tell City, but it isn’t your true home as a Christian. Our home is the Jerusalem above - Christ’s Kingdom - His Church Triumphant - the Life of the World to come.
    Every Sunday, those who are of God - birthed His own beloved children in baptism, joyfully gather together to hear God’s Word. In the Divine Service home comes to us as Jesus draws near speaking His Word promising us broken sinners forgiveness of all our sins. God the Holy Spirit strengthens us with the Truth of Jesus life, death, resurrection, ascension, ruling, and second coming for us - He frees us from the father of lies - the devil and his murderous plots. Home again the meal is served by Jesus. He is Host and feast as He places salvation into the very mouth of our bodies in bread and wine at His Table.
    Six months before the final Passover, Jesus preached to the Jews in the Temple of the heart of Abraham’s faith - Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." Genesis 22 reveals the heart and center of Abraham’s faith. He is righteous trusting alone in: “The Father, The Son, The Sacrifice!”
    The Lord God blessed Shem, son of Noah, with the promise of the Messiah. Sadly Satan led Shem’s descendants away from God’s Word to mis-belief, shame, vice. They soon adopted man made religions that appealed to their fleshly desires - they became pagans. It is out of this debauchery that the Lord God calls Abram, Terah’s son, to leave family and journey to the land of Canaan that the promise may be preserved. It is very likely that Shem, who lived to be 500 years old, is the one through whom the Lord God preached the promise to Abram telling him to leave the wicked land of his ancestors. The promise of the Seed of the woman Who would crush Satan’s head and rescue mankind from that murderer and father of lies. God the Holy Spirit preaches, Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "AND TO YOUR SEED," who is Christ.
      The Lord’s timing is not our timing. Abram was 75 years old when the Lord God called him to wander in the land of Canaan. His wife Sarai and him remained barren - they couldn’t have children. They had to wait for 25 years, when it was impossible for a 90 year old woman and a 100 year old man to begin a family. The Lord visits them. He speaks His Word of promise. Renaming them - “Sarai” is now “Sarah” - “princess;” “Abram” is now “Abraham”- “the father of many nations.” Within a year from deadness of Sarah’s womb and Abraham’s aged body - their son Isaac is born. Isaac, whose name means “laughter”, fills them with joy.
      Now at least 20 years have passed, maybe 33 years have passed. Abraham is now 133 and Isaac has grown into manhood at 33. Now God the Father reveals His heart. (Vs.1-2) Next Sunday holy week passion week begins with Jesus riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We often focus on what it cost Jesus to pay our price of rebellion to free us from Satan, sin, and the fear of death - we forget the toll it took on God our Father.
      The Lord’s call to Abraham to sacrifice his only son - the son of the promise - we begin to see the heart of our heavenly Father revealed. Fathers are called to protect their wives and children. A father’s heart breaks to see his child suffering, and it is shattered if his son dies. We sympathize with Abraham when God calls him to sacrifice Isaac - what would you do? What would you feel? Behold the heart of our Heavenly Father broken wide open to save us sinners. (Vs.3–5) Abraham obeys. He will fulfill God’s Word even though it doesn’t make sense to his reason. He rises early. Splits the wood for the sacrifice. Loads the donkey. And begins the walk towards the land of Moriah with his beloved son Isaac and two servants.
      God the Father walked with Jesus as He journeyed towards Calvary for your salvation. Born in Bethlehem the angel choirs rejoiced, Luk 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" St. Paul preaches, 2Co 5:19 ... God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” When John, the priest and baptizer, washed all our sins upon Jesus in baptism declaring Him to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. God the Father beamed, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Satan tried to break Jesus’ trust in His heavenly Father tempting Him for forty days in the wilderness. Jesus would only worship and serve His Father’s good and gracious will - our salvation.
    Abraham trusts the Heavenly Father’s heart and promise to save us sinners - through a flesh and blood descendant of Isaac. He tells his servants, “we will go to worship” and “we will come back to you.” “Heb 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, (18) of whom it was said, "IN ISAAC YOUR SEED SHALL BE CALLED," (19) concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.” Abraham trusted in God the Father’s heart - from Him comes life and truth. Satan is the liar and murderer - God the Father brings life to our world through the flesh and blood of His only begotten Son. (Vs.6) How Abraham’s heart must’ve broken placing the wood that would consume the flesh of his only son upon Isaac’s back. God the Father’s heart broke as He laid the wood of the cross upon His only begotten Son - to pay our price once for all. To win us back from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil.
    Isaac trusts his father’s word. Abraham and Sarah raised Isaac to hear God’s Word - trust it - believe it - hold only to His Word and promise in the coming Messiah. (Vs.7-9) Isaac is silent, like a sheep before its shearers is silent, he opens not his mouth. He sees the seriousness of this sacrifice written upon his father’s face - finally he breaks the silence with one question. “Where is the sacrificial lamb?” Abraham simply tells him, “The Lord will provide the sacrifice.” They journey onward climbing Mount Moriah - later this hill will be called Zion - the city of Jerusalem - the Temple will be built on Moriah and nearby one of its rises will be called the Place of the Skull. The son trusts his father’s word and work. Abraham himself builds the altar, out of uncut stones, lays the wood in order. Telling Isaac what God commanded him - Isaac doesn’t struggle or run - he trusts in God’s Word spoken by his father. Isaac gives himself willingly over to be sacrificed.

    Isaac reflects the heart of Jesus. Six months before Jesus laid down His sinless life for us on Calvary He preached, Joh 8:42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” As the Passover found its fulfillment in Jesus He told Philip who desired to see God the Father, Joh 14:9-11 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? (10) Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. (11) Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” Isaac’s heart and Abraham’s were one in God’s promise in Christ. Jesus trusts His Father’s will. In Gethsemane struggling with the hellish cost of our sins He prays Luk 22:42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
    Now Abraham reaches down to take the knife from the ground to complete the sacrifice Isaac is willing to make trusting firmly in God’s Word spoken through his father. (Vs.10-12) Isaac would not die on the altar built on Moriah and the wood laid in order there on Calvary. The Angel of the Lord - Jesus preincarnate - has shown Abraham His day - the day He will be sacrificed for us sinners - Good Friday. Abraham rejoices to see it and is glad.
      God the Father will not stop the sacrifice of His only begotten Son - the Sacrifice will be completed in Jesus’ cross. (Vs.13-14) The Lord provides - a ram with a thorny crown - the Lamb of God crowned with the thorns of Adam’s curse - Jesus who pour out His holy precious life giving blood for us sinners. Jesus who gives His sinless flesh to be sin for us that we might be reconciled to our God and Father by His sacrifice. In the Mount of the Lord salvation is provided!
      Abraham’s faith is the faith given and sealed to you by the Holy Spirit in baptism - Hear God’s Word - Trust in the Father, The Son, and The Sacrifice! “ Come to Calv'ry's holy mountain, Sinners, ruined by the fall; Here a pure and healing fountain Flows for you, for me, for all, In a full, perpetual tide, Opened when our Savior died.”(James Montgomery, 1771-1854 LSB 435) . Amen

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