Then he said, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from Me.” Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. And Abraham named the place The Lord Will Provide, so today it is said: “It will be provided on the Lord’s mountain.” Genesis 22:12-14 HCSB
“Jehovah-Jireh” is one of the many different names of God found in the Old Testament. “Jehovah-Jireh” is the King James Version translation of YHWH-Yireh and means “The Lord Will Provide”. Abraham used this name to memorialize the place where God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.
Why did God ask Abraham to perform human sacrifice? God condemned this as terrible sin. God did not want Isaac to die, but He wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in his heart so it would be clear that Abraham loved God more than his only son.
Note the parallel between God providing the ram as a substitute for Isaac as a sacrifice and Christ being offered as a substitute for us as a sacrifice for our sins. God stopped Abraham from harming Isaac but He did not stop the sacrifice of His only son, Jesus Christ. If Jesus had lived, we would have to pay the penalty for our sins and die. Jesus made it possible for us to be spared from eternal death and given eternal life.
Challenge: Thank God for providing the perfect sacrifice for your sins and giving you eternal life in heaven.