Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A new lesson from Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac

This week I taught the 12-13 year-olds the Sunday school lesson about the atonement from the “Come Follow Me” manual, specifically the lesson “What can the scriptures teach me about the atonement of Jesus Christ?”

The manual suggested using the story of Abraham offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice in similitude of Christ’s sacrifice.  Now, you and I have probably been very familiar with the idea that in this story Abraham plays the part of Heavenly Father, and Isaac plays the part of Christ, symbolizing how Heavenly Father gave his Only Begotten Son as a sacrifice.

My question as I read this story was, “How does this story as a type help me have faith in Christ’s atonement?” 

In pondering it, it seems to me that Abraham’s willingness to offer his son and not withhold him teaches us about Heavenly Father’s willingness to sacrifice His Only Begotten Son for us.  Even with all the pain involved, He was willing.  And Isaac’s willingness to go along when Abraham asked him to be the sacrifice teaches us about Christ’s obedience and willingness to be sacrificed.

And knowing the sacrifice was not given grudgingly helps us know the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ both have for us, and that gives us extra reason to trust the atonement and desire to make use of it.