What did Abraham do? I think we would have turned around at this point and headed back home, but not Abraham. He went onward with his son, leaving his servants behind with these last words: “I and the lad will go yonder to worship, and come again unto you”. Onward they went until they came to the place Abraham could see from afar off. There preparation was made for the sacrifice; the wood laid in order and Isaac his son bound up and ready.
Just at the most critical moment God called to Abraham once more and Abraham was again recorded to lift up his eyes, this time what he saw was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns, provided by God to offer up in the place of his son. What obedience, what faith, what rejoicing!
Abraham knew his God well enough to leave everything in His capable hands. God knew Abraham enough to test him in this way in order to prove that what God really wanted was Abraham's heart - not the life of his son. By Abraham’s actions we see clearly that he knew his God well and was fully persuaded that if Isaac was sacrificed God would have raised him from the dead, because in Isaac was the promise of a coming nation. (See Hebrews 11: 17-19.)
What was gained there on that mount? Abraham knew what it was like to receive from the hand of God a substitute in the place of his son. He and his family knew the blessing of God as a result of this event and ultimately God got great pleasure out of this mighty step of faith, "For without faith is it impossible to please Him". Hebrews 11: 6
But we also come into the priceless benefit of what happened to Abraham and Isaac there on that mount. Today we can look back to this event and see how clearly it speaks of another sacrifice that took place on that precise mount some three to four thousand years later!
There on that mount just outside the city wall of Jerusalem, all self and senses were laid aside. A substitute was not to be found for the dear Son of the most High God. There, nailed to a cruel Roman cross the soul of this precious One was poured out and made an offering for sin. Firstly for the satisfaction of God Himself and then for the benefit of all who come to shelter under the precious blood that was shed to cleanse the sinner from the guilt and shame that sin has caused.
When from His lofty position at the Father’s right hand He looks down into the souls of His people, what is it that He sees?