“Give Up Life” (Matthew 16: 25, KJV) by Carley Evans

As you seek to save your life, you lose it. As you give up your life for Jesus’ sake, you find it.

God provides a ram in the thicket for Abraham to sacrifice as a substitute for his son, Isaac whom he is willing to give up to God. Do not be mistaken — Abraham loves his son more than life itself. Isaac is Abraham’s only son. But he rightly fears and loves his God even more. As he raises his hand against his one and only son, God commands him not to strike Isaac.

Earlier when Isaac asks, where is the sacrificial animal, Abraham reasons with his son, saying that God provides “Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22: 8) And indeed God provides that sacrificial lamb — a ram caught in a thicket by its horns.

If Abraham seeks to save his son’s life, he loses. If he gives up his rights to his son’s life, he wins, gaining the very sacrifice a lost world seeks.

Because Abraham willingly gives up his son, God promises to bless, “multiplying…thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore…and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou obey My voice.” (Genesis 22: 17, 18)

“And Abraham calls the name of that place Jehovah-ji-reh, as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” (Genesis 22: 14)