“We need to remember the reality of God and that there is nothing too hard for him. All of us have something in our life where this truth needs to be applied.” — Jackie Hill Perry
In Genesis 22, when Abraham is asked to sacrifice his only son, he obeys immediately. In her message at TGC’s 2022 Women’s Conference, Jackie Hill Perry explained how Abraham’s obedience was directly tied to his unwavering faith in God—for whom nothing is too hard.
When Abraham thought about the sacrifice he had to make in the future, he remembered the resurrection (of his body and Sarah’s) in the past. If God could do a miracle then, he could do a miracle now. Abraham’s faith is proved by his willingness to sacrifice his son and is affirmed by God, who then provides a ram as a substitutionary sacrifice. This provision saves Isaac from death, separation, and destruction.
The ram foreshadows Christ, who is not only our substitution for sin but also the Son of God who returned from the dead to glorify the Father. Perry calls us to remember who God is and what he has done when we’re tested and tried. And just like Abraham, may we come to the other side of our trials refined with a faith that’s affirmed by God.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Jackie Hill Perry: How are you, saints? I heard about 1200 of you. I said, How are you? Because I’ll see about 50% of y’all getting Starbucks all day. So I know you’re woke, I say this every TGC conference that I have the opportunity to teach it, I need to let you know, I’m from a country called Black church. Okay? You might have heard me say that before. What that means is when someone is speaking or teaching, it’s not a monologue, it’s a conversation. Okay? So when when I say something that moves you, in your spirit, you have the right and the authority and the permission to talk back to me, you can clap, you can speak in the tongue, just find a translator. But don’t. Don’t throw no shoes, though. Okay, you could do everything else. But don’t throw your shoes up here unless I like them, throw the other one. And now I’m gonna take it, take it back home. Please turn in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 22.
Say man when you got it. So to get verse one, it says, After these things, God tested Abraham and said to him, Abraham. And he said, Here I am. He said, Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey and took two of his young men with him and his son, Isaac, and he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men stay here with the donkey, I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burn, offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand, the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father, Abraham, my father, and he said, Here I am, my son. He said, Behold, the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Abraham said, God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering my son. So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son, but the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham, and he said, Here I am. He said, Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now, I know that you fear God’s seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his thorns horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burn offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, on the mount of the Lord, it shall be provided, let’s pray. Lord, I thank you for this moment. Thank you for your word. Thank you for your spirit. I thank you for your church. I thank you for our feelings and our emotions and how they are so involved and the way we read your scriptures. I pray that you would do whatever it is that you want to do with us in this moment, I pray that You would help me that you would use me that You would speak in Jesus name, amen. This narrative opens up with the words after these things God tested, Abraham. I think before we even get to the nature of the test, we need to know something about the one being tested. We are introduced to Abram his original name in Genesis 12. when out of nowhere, God calls Abraham an idol worshiper to leave his home, leave his family leave his country, and then God gives Abram a promise. He tells them that he will make him a great nation and at all the families of the earth shall be blessed through him. We also learned some about his wife survive, and how she is barren. They have no children, which makes God’s promise a smidge complicated because if Abram is going to be a nation, Then Abram needs a child. In Genesis 15, God speaks to Abram again, this time he expands on his original promise he made, he tells Abraham is going to give them a son. But not only that, God gets all Bill Nye the Science Guy on him and tells him to head outside. Look at stars, and that the amount of stars he sees is the amount of offspring Abram will have. This is a big promise. Because remember, Abram ain’t got no kids. Sarah’s womb is barren, barren. So Abraham is like God, how I know that’s gonna happen. This is the jHP version, by the way. So God backs up his promise by entering into a covenant with a covenant is a promise made between two parties to perform certain duties. One party might promise to share their resources, their strength and protection, while the other party promises their loyalty. if Abraham were one of us, hypothetically speaking, and he wanted to buy a house in 2022, he would have to get a realtor, get on Zillow, Redfin, whatever your your thing, find a house, hopefully his credit score is an order. That’s a word for some of y’all know, some of y’all in the five hundreds God is able, is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we can never ask to thank his lender within have to give him a decent loan to purchase the house. When it’s time to close on the house, he would sit down with a lawyer with a realtor, they would give him a big old stack of papers for him to sign these papers of contracts between him and the bank. He’s getting the loan from the contracts have a bunch of words, but the Bank and Bank is basically saying, Hey, we promised to give you this money, you promised to give us the money back. If you don’t, you’re gonna be homeless. So when you purchase a home, then you are entering into a Luke’s kind of covenant, both parties are making a promise to do a certain thing. And if one party fails to keep that promise, there’s a consequence, and Abrams cultural context. Covenants weren’t ratified by signing a bunch of contracts, they were a little bit more dramatic than that. What would happen is that they would get some particular animals who would be killed, sliced in half laid side by side creating a path for both parties to walk through the bodies by making a covenant this way the parties were reenacting what would happen to them if they didn’t do what they said they would do is them saying, If I don’t keep my promise to you, let me be put to death like these dead animals that I just walked through to establish His covenant with Abram, then God has Abram get a heifer, a goat, around two birds, basically the whole meat section of the grocery store. And Abram cuts the animals in half except the birds because that’s odd, and lays them side by side. Usually both parties that are ratifying the covenant would walk through the animals but this time, shockingly, Abram isn’t awake for the ceremony. eremo Abram goes into a deep sleep similar to the one that Adam went into in Genesis three, and the Bible says that a great and dreadful darkness came over him. But what I don’t want you to do is take this as an Abram laying down and taking a nap. Taking going to bed, it’s probable as some commentators say, that he is made unconscious by God’s presence. And as that happens, God manifests himself as a smoking firepot and a flaming torch. And God him self walks in between the dead animals. God, him self, all alone walks in between their bodies walks in between their blood and by doing so God is saying that he is putting his very own nature on the line, so as to make sure that this covenant is maintained. Remember, Abram asked God, to give him evidence that God was going to do what he said he would do. And God responded by saying, If I don’t give you what I promised you, the blood will be on my hands. Now, that didn’t convince Abraham, that God was worthy to be trusted. I don’t know what else God could do moving forward. You might be thinking, Okay, now, God then showed up as a pot in the torch and walk through some half a blood Saray is definitely gonna get pregnant next week. But no, Abram and Suraj just get old and older and older, making God’s promise seem that much more impossible. In Genesis 17, when Abram was 99, and Soraya is 90, God shows up again, adding even more specificity to his promise. He tells Abraham, that Sarah will have a son from her own womb whose name will be Isaac. In Genesis 18, God shows up again and tells Abram now named Abraham that this time next year, God will give him a son. So right now called Sarah was being a little nosy. I don’t know if you remember the story. She heard what the Lord had said. And the text says that by this time Time The Way of women had seats with Sarah what does that mean? It means sis ain’t got no time in a month no more. Okay? Her you to rely on in a shed and nothing but does she ain’t use always. She ain’t had Caltex in her cabinet in decades. And now God is saying it’s a women’s conference, I can say that. Now God is saying she’s going to give birth to son, which is absolutely crazy. So several laughs. She like God must don’t know how old I am. How in the world? Am I going to have a whole baby? This is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. The Lord says to Abraham, because Sarah had laughed when God said what he has said, God says, Why does Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord? To watch? Sarah responds, like she ain’t talking to God, I didn’t laugh. Then God is like, no, but you did. Let’s be clear.
But in all, seriousness, I think we all need to remember the reality of God, and that there is nothing too hard for him. All of us have something in our life, where this truth needs to be applied. It may be the salvation of a family member, the restoration of a marriage, deliverance from addiction, the opening of a barren womb, the resources to adopt the power to forgive the ability to put to death, your favorite sins, whatever it is, God can do it. Because this is the thing God has not like anyone you have or will ever know. He has no limitations. He is the one that made the heavens and the earth, He is the one who has all power, he is completely sovereign, always strong and never tired. But unbelief will move you to construct a God and your own image. And therefore you will start to believe that either God has a weakness and cannot do the impossible, or that God is included, and therefore he won’t do the impossible for you. Which isn’t to say, though, everything we acts of God, he is obligated to do. God is God. So he has the right to move, however, and whenever and wherever he pleases. But the challenge is this, to believe that God is God, which means God can answer my impossible prayers. And God can give me an impossible faith to still trust him if he doesn’t, Is anything too hard for the Lord. And Genesis 22, or 21, the impossible happens, it says, The Lord visited Sarah, as he had said, And the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and born Abraham, a son, in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken, God is not alive. So by quickly walking through Genesis chapter 12, to Genesis 21, we are clear on three things. God has promised to make a nation out of Abraham, that all families of the earth will be blessed through him, and that God will do this through Abraham’s seed, Isaac. With that in mind, now, when we get to Genesis 22, the first two verses should be shocking. It says, After these things, God tested Abraham and said to him, Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and offer him there as a burnt offering. If you’re like me, the first time I read this passage, I was like, now, God, you promised this man, that all nations of the earth will be blessed through his seed, Isaac, you don’t make covenants. You don’t walk through blood and became pots and stuff, and now you’re telling him to sacrifice the sun. He then waited decades for not only that, God’s promise to Abraham hinges on Isaac being alive. It’s crazy. But what helps us to give us some pause is the beginning of this verse, and how it begins by saying that this is a test. The concept of testing is all throughout Scripture usually is explicit like an Exodus when God said He allowed Israel to be in the wilderness for 40 yours to test them or, and look for when it says that the Holy Spirit led Jesus in the wilderness to be tested God tests for two reasons usually, to reveal and to refine. When a test is used to reveal something, what is exposed is whatever is in your heart. testing reveals what you really believe. If you really have faith, if there are a few idols hiding in a corner somewhere a little pride that you didn’t know you had, which is such a merciful thing for God to do, because I don’t know if you notice, we tend to think really highly of ourselves. The natural state of the center as described in Romans one is that we think we are wise when we are full. So we may have a self conception that has nothing to do with reality. But also, we can get therapy. We can take Enneagram tests, Enneagram, three, wing four, and be as be as self aware as possible. And even then it is impossible for you to discern everything about yourself. So when God’s sovereign compassion, he will allow your kids to act up so you can see how impatient you are. He’ll let your money get funding so you can discern your greed or your distrust and God’s provision tests reveal. But tests also refine, Peter said in First Peter, one six bill now for a little while, if necessary. You have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, imagine who you’d be if you didn’t go through anything. If your faith was never challenged, if life never got hard and tense, if you never had any angst or confusion or anxiety about what to do or where to go when and who to trust without the refiners fire, what would the quality of your life look like? I can bet that it might be easier, but would it be fruitful? Why? Because test, purify your faith. It is only fire that refines gold, and it is only trials that will refine you. And yes, I know, trust me, No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but it will yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by circling back to Genesis 22. Since this narrative is framed as a test, we can know that whatever God is doing with Abraham, it will reveal something to him, and reveal something out of him. And what greater test is there for Abraham than for God to tell him to sacrifice his son, the Son he loves? Note that this is the first mention of the word love in the Bible, which is really fascinating to me that it said in the context of sacrifice and not self centeredness. But that’s a completely different conversation. Anyone? One thing about this test is that if you’re familiar with Abraham story at all, if you followed his life up until this point, you know that this test actually isn’t unfamiliar. Do you remember when God commanded Abraham in the beginning in Genesis 14, when he commanded him to do he told him to leave his country, leave his family, leave his home, and go where God wanted him to go? Abraham then is well acquainted with God telling him to sacrifice stuff that he loves. Since Abraham was called, he was repeatedly tested. So even though sacrificing Isaac is an extreme test, God didn’t start there. He has been readying Abraham’s faith. So as the test got more intense, he had the stamina to endure it. Charles Spurgeon said this. He said, The Lord knows how to educate you up to such a point that you can endure in your years to come what you could not endure today. Just as today, he may make you stand firm under a burden, which 10 years ago would have crushed you into dust. Perhaps this is the reason you don’t hear he read anything about Abraham pushing back, accent questions, he just, he just gets up and obeys verse three. Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey and took two of his men with him and his son, Isaac, and he cut the wood for the burnt offering and a rose and went to the place of which God had told him in other words, Abraham obeyed immediately. Why?
Because he had faith. The writer of Hebrews says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for. The conviction of things not seen. Another way to see it is that faith is an inner certainty regarding things you cannot see. That engages your will leading you to act in relation to what you believe. I’ll say it again because you’re all taking notes. Faith is An inner certainty regarding things you cannot see that engages your will leading you to act in relation to what you believe. For example, you have seen Windows team building exercises called the trust fall to where basically, one person stands on a platform with their eyes closed and arms folded, looks like they’re about to die, beneath them. Behind them are coworkers or their team standing in the line with their arms out ready to catch, not the bouquet but the person. The reason it’s a trustful is that the person on the platform can see nobody can see the people behind them. So they have to trust what they cannot see. But it wouldn’t be enough for them to just say they trusted. They’re saying like, yeah, I trust you and stay there. That’s not good enough. Words are easy. Trust is actually realized when the person chooses to fall backwards. The inner certainty gave them confidence that their team would catch them, even though they couldn’t see them, and that certainty engage their will, which is why they chose to fall I use this example because faith cannot be separated from behavior. Faith is at work and Abraham, because remember, God has made him a promise. And Isaac is a pivotal piece of that promise is Isaac dies, the promises to the irrationality of it all doesn’t seem to hinder Abraham. No. I think any rational person would be like, I’m god, this test ain’t it. There has to be another way tell people to steal my donkeys and burn down my tents. But don’t make me go find my son. But the thing is, Abraham isn’t like me. It doesn’t bother with God. He is certain that God is going to do what he said he would do because He is God. So because he believes and trust God, he behaves accordingly, says that he woke up early in the morning, cut the wood that he would sacrifice his son on. And he goes to the place that God told him to go to. Then we finally get an idea of what’s in Abraham’s mind. In verses five and six. Look at it. It says, On the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, stay here with the donkey. i And the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you. Do you hear his faith? Somewhere in between God telling him to sacrifice Isaac, and him getting the wood. He has concluded that after he has killed his son, Isaac is going to come back? How does he know that? Who or what is he trusting to make him so certain? It’s simple. He believes God not merely the promise of God, but the person of God because the missus only trustworthy because the one who made the promise cannot lie. So So what’s the very nature of God that Abraham has considered and in so doing, he is reckoned that because God cannot lie, he is obviously going to do something to ensure that Isaac ultimately doesn’t die. The writer of Hebrews said this, by faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said through Isaac shall your offspring be named. He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead? Hmm. Wait, we are in Genesis 22. Right. Amen. No, yes. Okay, so we are centuries before Elijah raises a widow son from the dead. We are centuries more from when Jesus raised Lazarus Easter ain’t Oh, Abraham’s radar. He don’t got a clue about pastel outfits and shiny white shoes there has yet there has yet to be an empty tomb for him to base his faith on. So how is it then that Abraham knew the very concept of resurrection was even possible? I think that before Abraham rose early in the morning, while he thought about what God was calling him to do, and that it meant that he had to put his son to death, I think, I think Abraham remembered his own body, and how God had brought life from death before So surely, he could do it again. Unless you think I’m just making up stuff. I want you to remind you Romans 419, which says this, he Abraham did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body which was as good as dead or when he considered the barrenness of life or lifelessness of Sarah’s womb, the word dead here, literally means corpse life. So then God had to resurrect their bodies that are Real sin so as to give them the power to create life in the form of Isaac. Abraham had the audacity to say that he and Isaac will go worship and return, because he remembered that God had did it before. In 1953, this guy by the name of Henry Molaison, went in for brain surgery to treat his epilepsy. During the procedure, the doctor removed a piece of Henry’s brain affected his memory, especially his short term memory, and one recording a doctor doing a study that’s on Netflix, by the way, I’m making it up. A doctor doing a study on the brain and memory X 10 MRI. If he remembered what he did yesterday, Henry said, I don’t know. The doctor asked him again what he did that morning. Henry said, I don’t remember that either. Then they asked him if he knew what he do tomorrow, to which Henry responded, whatever has been official. You’d expect Henry to have some kind of loose schedule. Or wake up, I’m gonna get some coffee. I’m gonna watch the news. But he didn’t. Because Henry couldn’t tell you what he would do tomorrow because he couldn’t remember what he did yesterday. He answered the question the way that he did, because the portion of Henry’s brain that was removed, affected Henry’s ability to make new memories. And since Henry couldn’t remember the past, he had no context for how to imagine his future. Without his memories. Henry had no expectation. When Abraham sought about the sacrifice that he had to make in the future, he remembered the resurrection in the past, and that if God could do a miracle, then that God could do a miracle. Now almost all of us have a hard time trusting God to do what he said he would do in his work through His Son. And it might be because we have a memory problem. How quickly we forget that he made the heavens and the earth, that He split the sea and delivered his people out of bondage, how he brought life from a dead womb, we forget how faithful he’s been to us in our family, how he’s provided for us when we didn’t even act, how he’s protected us from all kinds of mess, but when trials show up, now, all of a sudden, there’s I don’t know if God is gonna come through. I don’t know if God is gonna do this. I don’t know if God is gonna do that. I don’t know if God is gonna show up. Hasn’t God always showed up? Hasn’t God always been good? hasn’t got always been faithful. Just because you change your mind every six seconds doesn’t mean that God does. He is the same God today, as he was yesterday, some of us don’t need to fast we need to remember. And it isn’t. Isn’t this true? That the Word of God has provided for us 66 books worth of memories of who God is, and how God works, which will inform our faith so that we can obey without hesitation. Because Abraham has faith in his God, he is willing to sacrifice his only son. The text says, Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on his son Isaac, he took in his hand the fire and the knife and they went both of them together to the place that God had told him I want to be clear about something. a burnt offering was a total sacrifice. There were other offerings that would allow you to sacrifice an animal, and the priest could take a portion of it home to eat. But the burnt offering was the one offering with a whole animal was totally consumed. The process went something like this, as described in Leviticus, one, a male animal without blemish was taken. The offer would lay his hand on the animal which was symbolic of the transferring of the offer of sins onto the sacrifice and act of atonement, then they kill the animal, blood would be collected and thrown on the altar. Then the animal would be cut into pieces and arranged on the woods, then the animal would be burned and totally consumed. And as the smoke of the animal rolls towards heaven, it was said to be a pleasing aroma to the Lord. And God told Abraham to do that to his son, the son he loved. If
this were not a test, God’s character would be questionable at best, saying that God himself said that human sacrifice was detestable in Deuteronomy 12 and 18. But since it is a test, sacrificing Isaac or at least being willing to do, it resolves god of any guilt, and refines Abraham of any potential sin. This test solidifies Abraham’s loyalty See to God over and above love for his son. It is clear that Abraham has a deep affection for Isaac. God even acknowledges it by saying, Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and this love is natural. This love is good, we should love our children. They are good gifts from a creative God. But how easy it is to take these good gifts and make them God. Isaac was special. He was the promise child, the see through whom the whole world would be blessed. Abraham had parted ways with his son Ishmael years earlier. So this was the only son he had. And maybe God knew Abraham’s potential. Abraham was idol worship or before he was called. So we wouldn’t have been out of character for him to worship something other than God. Maybe God knew that the Son he loved could become the Lord, he worshipped. So to set him free from any inkling of idolatry, God had to put him in a position to choose and he did. He built the altar. He laid the wood. He took some rope, wrapped it around his son’s body, so he couldn’t move. And I can only imagine the pain because it wouldn’t be a sacrifice if it didn’t hurt. Sacrifice isn’t a sacrifice, if it doesn’t cost you something. This body on this altar is his boy, who he saw every day a dinner with every night on the altar, he probably looked at him and saw his own features in his face, alongside fear. But either way, even with all the faith in the world, sacrificing what you love is devastating, but even then, God must be worthy of it all. And Abraham knows that. So with inner certainty, engaging his will, leading him to act in a way that is relative to what he believes. He takes the night ready to slaughter his son. Then he hears his name for Sullivan, Abraham, Abraham. And he said, Here I am. He said, Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me. If there was any doubt, who Abraham’s God was this moment made it clear. God had refined Abraham’s heart removing any other allegiances. And now he’d revealed it to, for God to say, I know that you fear God, this anthropomorphic language, God knows everything. So it doesn’t mean that God didn’t know it means that God is affirming that Abraham’s faith is real. And isn’t that what we all want? The affirmation that our faith is authentic, because there are those who will present themselves before Jesus with a bunch of evidence for why they deserve glory, did not prophesy in your name, did not cast out demons and perform the miracles on your name. I think some of us in this room we will say God did not preach an expository passage correctly. Did not tie did did not go to seminary and lead worship and go on mission trips and vote of certain way. Surely that’s proof of my faith. All of which looks impressive. It looks like power. It looks like the fruit of faith. But Jesus turns to these kinds of people and calls them workers of lawlessness. God forbid, you have to wait to judgment to find out who you really are. But the irony of it is this, the very act of looking to what you’ve done for Jesus as evidence of that, you know, Jesus might be the proof that you don’t, because the truly faithful ones know that they have never done anything apart from Jesus. So when they stand before God, they stand before Him like the men and the Parable of the Talents saying, This is what I’ve done with what you have given me. And you know what the basket will say to them, he’ll say, Well done, my good and faithful servant and that is the point of everything, my friends, win all the tests and all the trials and all the pain and all the angst and all the discipline and all the suffering is over. The point of it all is that the God of the glory, the judge of the universe, the one who cannot lie seated on the judgment, say we’ll say I know that you fear God. First, actually, and Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket, by his thoughts. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place the Lord will provide. This moment right here is an act of substitutionary atonement.
Instead of Isaac being sacrificed, the RAM is killed in his place. With substitution, one person takes the place of another, bearing the penalty that we reserved for someone else. If Isaac was killed, as a burnt offering, a few things would have happened, he would have experienced the death and thus he would have been separated from his father, he also would have experienced the desecration of his body as it burned in the fire. And all of this would have happened at the hands of his father. It is because God provided the RAM that saved Isaac from death, separation and destruction. But there’s a problem with all of this, sacrificing the burnt offering function as atonement. Abraham and Isaac were both sinner, and the wages of sin is dead, God’s justice had to be satisfied by virtue of blood being spilled a life being taken either their own life or somebody else’s life. So the ram was not only sacrificed instead of Isaac before Isaac, but even then, the ram wasn’t good enough. Why? Because he rootin for says it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin, meaning that this RAM, though it was a sacrifice, it wasn’t a sufficient one. If anything, this Ram was a shadow pointing forward to a better sacrifice, one that would not be accomplished by Jehovah, or providing a ram and a bush, but by Jehovah Jireh, providing his son in the flesh and who was the son, I’ll tell you, first of all, the son was born to a woman by virtue of a miracle. His mother wasn’t barren. But she was a virgin, named Mary, who by all accounts should not have been able to get pregnant sing as though she had not been with a man. But because nothing is too hard for the Lord, she can see by the power of the Spirit, the son grew up, learned obedience through what He suffered, being tested by the devil to turn stones into bread and to worship and thus love anything more than God. But He resisted every single time to which God publicly affirmed that his son’s faith was real by saying that this is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased by then, or but then the scenario for which the Son had was born came to pass, the night before the son had prayed to His daddy, pray to his father said that he wanted this cup to pass from him. He was in a position where he had to choose, he had to choose either His will or his father’s will. And he did, this son was made to carry his own world, on his own back, as he walked toward the top of a mountain. And while up there, this son’s body was secured to the woods so that he couldn’t move. People said, if you are the Son, come down the cross. What they didn’t understand is if he came down, they would have had to go up in his place, not dying for them, but receiving the penalty of death that belongs to us, because it’s easy to forget, that since I was born a sinner, and the wages of sin is death, that if Jesus did a sins, I would have had to pay for my own, that even if I sin, once, that meant I deserve the judgment, that through this death, I would be eternally separated from the life of the Father, that I wouldn’t endure the pain and the desecration of eternal destruction, and that all of this would happen at the hands of God, the Father, but for these people, to tell Jesus to come down the cross, they clearly didn’t realize that if he came down, there would be no substitution. And that the reason he stayed is because he loved them to death. Maybe they didn’t remember that day when Abraham was sleep. And God himself walked through a line of death walks through blood, making it known that he was going to keep his promise. And do you know what on the cross God got blood on his hands, God became man so that he could die so as to maintain a covenant relationship with his people. There he was, God in the flesh being killed like an animal being slaughtered like the animals that he walked through becoming a lamb that he promised to be and there were no rams this time. There was no voice, to cry out from heaven to stop. There was only silence. And then oh, three hours in the dreadful darkness of God’s presence was the only begotten son whose very own father was pleased to crush him. Jesus became sin so that you can be declared righteous. Jesus dies so that you could have life Jesus was bruised, so you could be healed. Jesus rose from the dead so that you could to that is the beauty of substitution. Jesus is the ran and the bush and Jesus is the Son who returned from the dead to worship with his daddy. And now it is through this son Jesus, that all who have faith and his name are called the sons and daughters of Abraham and look at us, a people from every tribe, and every tongue and every nation, a church that has lasted for centuries with millions of saints that have gone before us, and who will come after us. And if you just look into the crowd, don’t we look like stars? What God promised to Abraham in Genesis 12 has been realized in us, the children of the promise. Is there anything too hard for the Lord? Lord, we thank you for this day. We thank you for your faithfulness. We thank you for your nature and how you have revealed it through Christ, by the spirit in the scriptures, we pray God that this would be more than words that this will be more than knowledge that it would actually inform the way we do life. The way we love people, the way we engage on social media, the way we engage with our families and our friends in our local churches. I pray that it even changes the way we pray that we would pray with power. And we will pray with confidence knowing that we are praying to a good and a faithful God. We love you and Jesus name, Amen.