This addresses another paradox of the Bible: did God want Abraham to sacrifice Isaac or not?

And what does the answer say about God?

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.

He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."

Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

- Hebrews 11:17-19



"How loving is a God who would have Abraham sacrifice his son?"


"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

1 John 4:10 NIV

"Sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...or the one."

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan



You might note, in Genesis chapter 22, that Abraham told his servants both he "and the lad" would return, that the Lord caused a suitable sacrifice to be found nearby, and that an angel was on hand to keep Abraham from killing his son. God, in other words, was not intending the death of Isaac. God was instead allowing Abraham to demonstrate his faith in that particular way for a very important and symbolic reason.

Abraham's physical actions most importantly symbolized, for the sake of all future generations, the sacrifice that God alone planned to make: the sacrifice of his own son for our sake. The Abraham and Isaac scene, properly understood, is not an example of God's cruelty, but of God's personal sacrifice, and of Christ's love for us in so completely trusting and obeying the Father.


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See also:

Does God change his mind?

What were sacrifices all about?

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