7. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8. Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. (NASB)
The truth we find in the Bible transcends time and is valid at all times. It was truth at the time it was written and was relevant to those it was first written for. And its truth has relevance throughout time. One of the effects of Christmas, or more accurately the coming of Jesus, is that the truth of the scriptures is illuminated and much of it fulfilled.
When Abraham told Isaac that God would provide a lamb it was true in that moment, for that particular circumstance. You know the story. God instructs Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, the son of God’s promise. Abraham sets out in obedience to sacrifice the boy only to be stopped at the last moment by an angel. And there, next to the altar Abraham had built, caught in a bush, was a lamb.
After the actual events unfolded the story was pointed to as an example that God would provide the means for us to accomplish what He asks us to do. And it foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah. In the Christmas story (and the story of Good Friday and Easter) we find the ultimate fulfillment of that truth as God provided the lamb for the sacrifice that would make a way for all of us to be set free through Jesus.