Monday, April 1, 2024

Sacrifice is the Beginning

 By: Joanne Viola

The days leading up to Easter bring us to reflect much on the sacrifice, death, and resurrection of our Lord. Maybe this is the reason the verse poked at my soul for a few days.

He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac,
and go to the land of Moriah,
and offer him there as a burnt offering
on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

(Genesis 22:2, NASB)

We seem to think God is always requiring us to give up things. We form the opinion He may not really want us to enjoy life, that He may want us to live uncomfortable and mundane lives.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

“God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing work having, namely, life with Himself. It is a loosening of the bands that hold back our lives.” (Oswald Chambers)

God tested Abraham on this fateful day on Mount Moriah. Would Abraham trust God, believe He would be faithful to His promise to give him descendants as numerous as the stars.

And He took him outside and said,
“Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”
And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

(Genesis 15:5, NASB)

Maybe the giving up, the surrendering, is not the end at all. Maybe it is the very beginning of something new, something bigger, and more purposeful.

On the Cross, Jesus sacrificed His very life. To those who witnessed His death, and certainly to His disciples, it seemed like the end. The end of a ministry, the end of the gospel, and the end of hope for a new kingdom.

But in fact, it was only the beginning.

The Cross, and the resurrection, brought new life, new hope, and a new way of living for them and for us.

Just as Abraham’s hand was in the air, clutching the very knife he would bring down on his son Isaac, God called to him to stop.

As Abraham stopped to look about to see from where the voice was coming, he saw a ram in the thicket nearby. God had provided for Himself the sacrifice which would be made that day. The sacrifice of a ram, and not Abraham’s son.

God also repeated His promise, and promised Abraham even more:

By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord,
because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,

indeed I will greatly bless you,
and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens
and as the sand which is on the seashore;
and your seed shall possess the gate of heir enemies.

In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 

(Genesis 22:16-18, NASB)

We need to open our hands and let go of all we are clutching tightly. Only as we lift open hands will we be able to receive the fullness and abundance God has for us. The altar, the Cross, and the sacrifice become the place where we grow to trust and obey God. It’s the place we receive the goodness of God in our lives.

As we sacrifice,
we are trusting God not to take from us,
but to actually give to us.


What may God be asking you to surrender to Him? What keeps you from trusting Him with that sacrifice?


Photo by Tom Bradley on Unsplash



  1. What a beauitful perspective. We concentrate on the painfulness of the sacrifice, the ending, when we should be looking forward the beginning of whatever God has for us.

    1. May we look forward to all God has for us as we sacrifice and surrender to Him.


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